Number of female judges in Indiana remains stagnant

May 17, 2011
Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

The good news is Indiana isn’t last when it comes to the number of female judges as compared to the rest of the country. The bad news is we aren’t anywhere near the top of the ranking. The so-so news is that even though we’ve gained three women on the federal bench in the last year, the number of women serving as federal and state judges remains at 20 percent of our total judges. We’ve also dropped three spots in our national ranking to 38 despite the fact our percentage remained the same. That means other states are putting more females on the bench than us.

A report by University of Albany’s Center for Women in Government & Civil Society of the Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy finds that nationwide, women make up 23 percent of all federal judgeships and 27 percent of all state-level positions.

On the federal level, we’ve made great strides. We went from under 10 percent of our judges being women to just about 15 percent of our judicial makeup being female. But we are just 42nd in the country for our number of female judges. New Jersey is first, with 44 percent of its federal judiciary comprised of women. At least we aren’t Montana, where they have no women on their federal bench.

But Montana trounced us when it comes to female state judges – they are ranked third, at more than 37 percent female. We’re in the bottom half of the rankings, coming in at 39th with a little over 20 percent female state judges.

We are also one of the only states to not have a sitting female justice.

Despite women making up about half of law school graduates, no state is near achieving equal representation of 50 percent on the federal or state bench.

Do you think that how a judge is selected affects these numbers? Are women more likely to make it to the bench through judicial appointments or elections, or does the process even matter?

ADVERTISEMENT

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in Indiana Lawyer editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT
  1. Family court judges never fail to surprise me with their irrational thinking. First of all any man who abuses his wife is not fit to be a parent. A man who can't control his anger should not be allowed around his child unsupervised period. Just because he's never been convicted of abusing his child doesn't mean he won't and maybe he hasn't but a man that has such poor judgement and control is not fit to parent without oversight - only a moron would think otherwise. Secondly, why should the mother have to pay? He's the one who made the poor decisions to abuse and he should be the one to pay the price - monetarily and otherwise. Yes it's sad that the little girl may be deprived of her father, but really what kind of father is he - the one that abuses her mother the one that can't even step up and do what's necessary on his own instead the abused mother is to pay for him???? What is this Judge thinking? Another example of how this world rewards bad behavior and punishes those who do right. Way to go Judge - NOT.

  2. Right on. Legalize it. We can take billions away from the drug cartels and help reduce violence in central America and more unwanted illegal immigration all in one fell swoop. cut taxes on the savings from needless incarcerations. On and stop eroding our fourth amendment freedom or whatever's left of it.

  3. "...a switch from crop production to hog production "does not constitute a significant change."??? REALLY?!?! Any judge that cannot see a significant difference between a plant and an animal needs to find another line of work.

  4. Why do so many lawyers get away with lying in court, Jamie Yoak?

  5. Future generations will be amazed that we prosecuted people for possessing a harmless plant. The New York Times came out in favor of legalization in Saturday's edition of the newspaper.

ADVERTISEMENT