Chris Blattman

And the most liberal and conservative law schools are…


Oliver Roeder at 538:takes a list of 2000 Supreme Court clerks from Wikipedia and matches it to a score that quantifies justices’ ideologies on a left-right political spectrum.

So now we know the ideology of every clerk’s justice in every year back to 1937 — the first year for which the Martin-Quinn scores are calculated. We can now calculate that Columbia grads tend to clerk for justices of this ideological type, and Stanford grads for that type, and so on. And while we’re not measuring clerk ideology directly, there is strong evidence that, for better or worse, justices prefer clerks with ideologies similar to their own. Clarence Thomas has said: “I won’t hire clerks who have profound disagreements with me. It’s like trying to train a pig. It wastes your time, and it aggravates the pig.”

Caution as the number of clerk-justice pairings are small after Harvard, Yale and Columbia.

14 Responses

  1. Really? Columbia is where you draw the line? I think you might have institutional blinders on:

    Harvard 432
    Yale 316
    Chicago 136
    Stanford 116
    Columbia 98
    Virginia 93

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