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Theresa M. Beiner

excerpted from: Theresa M. Beiner, White Male Heterosexist Norms in the Confirmation Process, 32 Women's Rights Law Reporter 105 (Winter/Spring 2011) (278 Footnotes Omitted)


The assumptions of those who espouse the theories discussed in the previous section is that a judge's background will influence how he or she understands cases. Indeed, underlying Justice Sotomayor's wise Latina woman comment is the idea that people of different backgrounds will bring different perspectives to the bench that may have an impact on decision making. The effects of race, ethnicity, and gender on decision making in particular are implicated in her remarks. So, was Justice Sotomayor correct? Do these characteristics have an impact on case outcomes? Studies suggest that sometimes they do.