The Guardian Cites Pat Chew's Study 'Myth of the Color-Blind Judge'

In a May 11 feature, the British national daily newspaper The Guardian cited Pitt Law Professor Pat K. Chew's 2008 study "Myth of the Color-Blind Judge," which analyzed over 400 federal cases, representing workplace racial harassment jurisprudence over a twenty-year period and found that judges' race significantly affects outcomes in these cases. Chew co-authored the study with CMU professor Robert E. Kelley. While not the first time the study has been cited in media and scholarly work, this is one of the largest recent features.

The Guardian story "Why the US needs black lawyers even more than it needs black police" specifically highlighted Chew and Kelley's conclusion, "Our work initially confirms certain characteristics of racial harassment cases: the vast majority of the judges are white; the vast majority of the plaintiff-employees are African American; the vast majority of accused harassers are white; and that, when studying case outcomes, plaintiff-employees have a very poor win rate in general – succeeding in only 22% of cases overall. Furthermore, the statistical analyses consistently showed that the race of the judge can make a significant difference. While plaintiffs have a poor win rate in general, they are much more likely to win if their cases come before African American rather than white judges."

Read "Why the US needs black lawyers even more than it needs black police" in The Guardian

Read the 2008 study "Myth of the Color-blind Judge" on SSRN.


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