Recent Supreme Court nomination hearings have become increasingly rancorous, revealing the increasing political importance of the judiciary in our system of government. We need to know more about those who are chosen to wield this power, but those being considered have strong incentives to obscure all but the most basic characteristics of integrity, decorum, intellect, and courtesy. One of the most important decisions in our democracy is therefore made with far less information than would be ideal. Only through development of new metrics and refinement of existing metrics can we begin to cut through obfuscation and identify the goals and methodologies of potential judges and justices. Multiple new metrics are discussed, particularly as they pertain to the confirmations of Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh, as an example of what can be achieved if the importance of metrics in this area is recognized.
Jeremy Kidd, New Metrics and the Politics of Judicial Selection, 70 Ala. L. Rev. 783 (2019).