Women

06.17.14

Justices’ Daughters Impact Their Votes

A new study shows that Supreme Court Justices with daughters are more likely to vote in favor of women's rights.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, a new study showed that judges with daughters are more likely to vote in favor of women’s rights than ones with only sons. The effect is most pronounced among male judges appointed by Republican presidents, like Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist, according to a report in The New York Times. While it had been thought that judges decided based on law and ideology, this study found that personal experience matters. As study author Professor Maya Sen said, “Things like having daughters can actually fundamentally change how people view the world, and this, in turn, affects how they decide cases.” This effect was found in other areas as well: members of Congress with daughters are more likely to cast liberal votes, particularly on abortion rights; similarly, British parents with daughters were more likely to vote for left-wing parties. Girl power indeed!