I keep hearing about the important role of Federal Judges in the United States and how their rulings as a whole results in them being labeled as a judge with a particular political worldview (the most common being the eponymous "Liberal" or "conservative"). And the way a particular judge rules is apparently significant enough that organizations such as The Federalist Society have been formed that foster the appointment of judges that rule in a particular way and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has done numerous procedural measures to aid said society


There is one question embedded within two here:

  1. What is the actual political spread of federal judges based on their rulings, and...

  2. How is this spread effectively measured?

  • Could you clarify the question a bit between "partisan" leanings and "political" leanings. I was going to write a frame-challenge answer about how the leanings of judges are generally philosophical rather than partisan, but perhaps an edit to the question would be more efficient.
    – Deolater
    Commented Jul 11, 2019 at 15:24
  • 1
    Ok....does my edit satisfy your issue of framing?
    – isakbob
    Commented Jul 11, 2019 at 15:31
  • closely related to Supreme Court Justice Importance of Party Affiliation
    – lazarusL
    Commented Jul 11, 2019 at 18:19
  • @lazarusL This question is different in the scope of what I am asking: All federal judges, not just Supreme Court Justices.
    – isakbob
    Commented Jul 11, 2019 at 18:28
  • @isakbob for sure, I'm not recommending to close this as a duplicate, it just might provide a starting point for answers or give you some more information to help narrow the question.
    – lazarusL
    Commented Jul 11, 2019 at 18:30

1 Answer 1


This is why people shop around for the most favorable courts, the most favorable judges, the most favorable state, for their legal claims. different judges have different views on different issues and rule very differently.

This is particularly true of patent / intellectual property disputes.

I just assumed this was common knowledge. if you want to know more, google for "judge shopping"




  • 1
    This doesn't really explain "how large" the disparity is.
    – isakbob
    Commented Jul 11, 2019 at 18:03
  • 2
    @isakbob: VERY LARGE. it can go from ruling in favor of one side, to ruling in favor of the other side. Commented Jul 11, 2019 at 18:04
  • The links seem spot on: they all specify the federal level, even though the first one crosses over into the state level a little bit, which is outside the scope of my question. That said, there isn't anything speaking about the overall spread or lean; just that Judge Shopping is a phenomenon in Massachusets and Texas federal districts. Upvote for the thorough links though.
    – isakbob
    Commented Jul 11, 2019 at 18:36

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