In a provocative, data-driven, legal history paper, Keeping Cases from Black Juries: An Empirical Analysis of How Race, Income Inequality, and Regional History Affect Tort Law, Donald Gifford (Maryland) and Brian Jones (Villanova--Sociology) set out to assess empirically the degree to which state tort doctrine varies when it comes to enabling judges to dismiss cases before they reach the jury. The authors then seek to match this variation with the influence of race and a state's slave-holding experience.
The paper's findings suggest that "some appellate courts, particularly those in the South, afraid that juries with substantial African-American representation would redistribute wealth or retaliate for grievances, struck preemptively to prevent cases from reaching them. Surprisingly, we do not find a consistent association between a state’s JADI and either income inequality or its political leanings. In other words, race and region, rather than economic class or politics, explain the failure to embrace pro-plaintiff changes that occurred elsewhere."