Blog #2: Reflections & Ethical Issues

My research would focus on whether the process of appointments or elections can foster more or les diversity in prevailing candidates. I had planned to conduct this research through a series of first hand interviews, hoping to shed some light on why candidates chose to pursue one or both processes (election or appointments). I decided to draft a series of interview questions asking each judge about their educational background, family history, sexual orientation, and their experiences as a judge and their road to the bench. These series of questions delve deep into their past history in which I think these questions will aim to show that diversity in the bench continues to be of great importance in its impact on how the third branch addresses the policy and legal issues confronting our society today. This study seeks to see if judges were previously involved with public interests or with private practice before being on the bench.

Some of the issues that we faced while drafting the interview questions were the sensitivity of the questions. I decided to dedicate a part of the interview with questions about how the judges grew up (where they grew up, how they were raised, parents history, neighborhood they grew up in, etc.…) I believe that these questions will pose some issues about how sensitive these issues might be to some Judges. There is also a part of the interview where I focus on any past convictions or experiences with the law. We are finishing up the set of questions and are ready to send out the interview questions and see what data we can come up with.

UGR Blog Post #1: Grooming a Judge- How to Achieve the Greatest Level of Diversity

Grooming a Judge- How to Achieve the Greatest Level of Diversity

The United States is more diverse than ever, as a country, we thrive on diversity. America is home to the world’s plentiful and varied races, religions, and cultures. The fusion of all these different cultures is so unique and so exceptional that American citizens can be proud of their original origin as well as being an American. Diversity in America also documents the struggles of nationalities to integrate into the “melting pot” of American society and culture. As a diverse, democratic nation, we believe in the mixtures of religions, races, and cultures, founded upon the basis of equality and freedom for all. However, that is not to say that there is no discrimination or harassment of any person in the social and working world of America. Instances of discrimination and harassment on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity, and even physical or mental disability have been prominent in the workplace. Additionally, the diversity of America’s “melting pot” has played a big role in what I will be researching this year.

There has been a lot of research done with people, who hold federal positions; however, my project focuses on the sphere of judicial positions in the New York City court system. My research focuses on whether the process of appointments or elections can foster more or less diversity in prevailing candidates. This project will be conducted through first hand interviews, hoping to shed some light on why candidates chose to pursue one or both processes and which ultimately they believe was more hospitable given their individual backgrounds. We will conduct this experiment by conducting a series of interview questions asking each judge about their education background, race, gender, socioeconomic level, and sexual orientation. My hypothesis for this research project is that judges who received their positions through appointments would foster more diversity in the judicial pool. Through our research, we aim to show that diversity in the bench continues to be of great importance in its impact on how the third branch addresses the policy and legal issues confronting our society today.