Women's Representation in the Highest Court: A Comparative Analysis of the Appointment of Female Justices
Political Research Quarterly
The presence of women justices in the highest constitutional courts varies significantly across countries, yet there is little existing research that engages this substantial cross-national variation. Using an original data set of women’s representation in the constitutional courts in fifty democracies combined with qualitative case studies, we assess the effect of the selection mechanism on this variation and find that the existence of a “sheltered” versus “exposed” selection mechanism is a critical determinant of women’s presence. That is, when the selectors are sheltered from electoral accountability, they are less likely to select women as judges because they do not benefit from credit claiming. When the selectors are exposed and can claim credit, however, the unique traits and visibility of the highest court generate an incentive to appoint women.
Copyright © 2022 by University of Utah
Locate the Document
Valdini, M. E., & Shortell, C. (2016). Women’s representation in the highest court: A comparative analysis of the appointment of female justices. Political Research Quarterly, 69(4), 865-876.