Honors College Thesis

 

Riddled with Exclusivity: The Homogeneity of the Supreme Court Bar in the Roberts Court Public Deposited

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  • The Supreme Court Bar-the lawyers who argue before the US Supreme Court-has historically been an elite and exclusive group. This investigation examines the demographic make-up of the Supreme Court Bar in the Roberts Court and compares it to previous iterations of the Supreme Court Bar, as well as the national bar and general United States population. Although the Supreme Court Bar remains exclusive, particularly in educational and career backgrounds, there is a slight movement towards increased demographic diversity. However, compared to both the national bar and the US population, the Supreme Court Bar remains very homogeneous. The traditional pathway to the Supreme Court Bar includes several barriers to entry that make it difficult for historically marginalized individuals, including law schools and legal employment. This thesis also explores potential impacts of the homogenization. A lack of diversity results in lower levels of descriptive representation which has implications to institutional legitimacy. In addition, the specialization in appellate/Supreme Court advocates has the potential to substantively influence the docket and decisions of the Supreme Court. Key Words: Diversity, Law School, Representation, Supreme Court
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