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12 April 2009


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Jeff Yates


Thanks for the great post - the measurement of judges' ideologies is perhaps one of the most vexing challenges in judicial politics. On any given new measure I tend to ask two basic questions: The first, you've already addressed - that being - does it make sense theoretically. In other words, does it make sense to me that these proxies or indicators are good ways of getting at a judge's world view. I think that the Howard/Nixon measure does well on this question, although given that we have more background variance on Ct App judges (as opposed to SCOTUS), it might be advisable to incorporate more background considerations (a la Neal Tate's classic work on this point).

Second, how does he measure improve explanation of judicial behavior? I tend to compare all judicial ideology measures against a baseline of the judge's party affiliation - how do your scores compare against this baseline or against how well the Giles et al measures perform?

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