Tags: Supreme Court | supreme court | oral arguments | interruptions | men | conservatives

Study: Males, Conservatives Do Bulk of Interrupting on SCOTUS

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By    |   Monday, 17 Apr 2017 11:00 AM

A recent study tackled the issue of interruptions during oral arguments at the Supreme Court and found that male and conservative justices are responsible for the lion's share of intrusions.

"We find that judicial interactions at oral argument are highly gendered, with women being interrupted at disproportionate rates by their male colleagues, as well as by male advocates," reads the abstract, written by a Northwestern University law professor and law student.

"Oral argument interruptions are also highly ideological, not only because ideological foes interrupt each other far more than ideological allies do, but we show that conservatives interrupt liberals more frequently than vice versa," the study found.

The study, soon to be published in Virginia Law Review, was presented amid the confirmation of Neil Gorsuch, who replaces the late Antonin Scalia on the high court.

It also comes amid speculation of how Gorsuch will be able to assert his voice as the new Justice on the bench.

"Conservatives have dominated the court for the last 50 years, and, knowing that, they feel they are more in power than liberals feel," professor Tonja Jacobi and co-author of the study told The New York Times. "Interruptions are generally considered an aspect of dominance, and the conservatives feel dominant over the liberals. With Gorsuch entering the court, that’s going to reinforce that tendency."

Given that all three female justices on the court are liberal, it's hard to detangle the driving force of their being interrupted at an astounding ratio.

"Of the 7,239 interruptions in that period, 32 percent were of women, but only 4 percent were by women," the study reads. "These preliminary numbers suggest that women are being interrupted at moderately disproportionate rates, but more dramatically, that women are being extraordinarily meek in interrupting their colleagues."

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A recent study tackled the issue of interruptions during oral arguments at the Supreme Court and found that male and conservative justices are responsible for the lion's share of intrusions.
supreme court, oral arguments, interruptions, men, conservatives
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2017-00-17
Monday, 17 Apr 2017 11:00 AM
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