9/24/2019

Are a Disproportionate Number of Federal Judges Former Government Advocates?



"What we found confirms the conventional wisdom: Former government lawyers—and more specifically, lawyers whose formative professional experiences include serving as courtroom advocates for government—are vastly overrepresented on the federal bench. Looking only at former prosecutors versus former criminal defense attorneys (including public defenders), the ratio is four to one. Expanding the parameters to include judges who previously served as courtroom advocates for government in civil cases as well as criminal cases, and comparing that to judges who served as advocates for individuals against government in civil or criminal cases, the ratio is seven to one. As explained below, the disproportion is both striking and concerning."