Assoc. Dean Jordan’s article discussed at length by D.C. Circuit Judge Douglas Ginsburg


In his recent essay, The Behavior of Federal Judges: A View from the D.C. Circuit, 97 Judicature 109 (2013), a review of a recent book, The Behavior of Federal Judges, by Lee Epstein, William Landes, and Judge Richard Posner,  D.C. Circuit Judge Douglas Ginsburg refers extensively to Associate Dean William Jordan’s 2001 article Judges, Ideology, and Policy in the Administrative State: Lessons from a Decade of Hard Look Remands of EPA Rules, 53 Admin. L. Rev. 45  (2001). Dean Jordan’s article was an empirical study examining the effects of political ideology on decisions by judges on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. He concluded that, on balance, “we have a picture of careful judging, without the strong ideological influences that have been predicted in other studies.”

Responding to the authors’ assertion of high dissent rates on the D.C. Circuit and their finding of a “significant ideological influence on court of appeals decisions,” Judge Ginsburg noted that Professor Jordan’s approach to examining circuit court decisions “would capture the complexity of such a case by examining each issue,” while the book’s authors “would suppress that complexity by characterizing the case as a whole.” The result, according to Judge Ginsburg, was to “overstate the degree of disagreement and to see ideology where there is none.” Referring Professor Jordan’s article, Judge Ginsburg concluded that, “It is no small consolation to see the D.C. Circuit absolved-yet again-of the charge, so often levied in the vacuous but vociferous political debates over the confirmation of a new judge, that the court is a political partisan.”

Read the full piece here.

Read Judge Ginsburg's article here.