Analyzing Demographics & Votes of the U.S. Supreme Court

Presented by:
Elizabeth Guo (Harvard University)

This project, which seeks to analyze demographics and votes of the United States Supreme Court, has 3 aims. This project (1) examines changing demographics (religion, family socioeconomic status, race, childhood background, affiliated political party, and party of nominating president) of the Court over time, and draws observations on long-term historical trends; (2) seeks to answer the question if the direction of a justice's vote (liberal/conservative) in a case can be predicted by a logistic regression model involving some combination of demographic characteristics; (3) and provides a data-driven answer to the question, Are Supreme Court justices politicians in robes? I found a general diversifying trend in personal characteristics, that justices, voting behavior is generally not predictable by a variety of models, and that justices are not, politicians in robes, instead voting out of party line quite often.