Saturday Scholars Series


Location: Snite Museum - Annenberg Auditorium

“What Judges Want: Goals and Personality on the U.S. Supreme Court”

Matthew E.K. Hall, Associate Professor, Department of Political Science

U.S. Supreme Court justices are often viewed as rational actors who strategically pursue multiple goals, including policy influence, collegiality, and leisure. Yet these models rarely account for the possibility that justices with different personalities prioritize different goals. In this study, I use an automated textual analysis program to estimate “Big Five” personality scores for U.S. Supreme Court justices. I find that the justices’ personality traits are associated with a variety of judicial behaviors.