federal district court judge ideology data 


These ideology scores for confirmed federal district court judges use the methodology established in Giles, Hettinger, and Pepper's (2001) work and extended in work by Epstein, Martin, Segal, and Westerland (2007), the list of judges available from the Federal Judicial Center, and the data available on Poole's Voteview website.  The scores have been compiled using both the 110th Congress Common Space data and the 113th Congress Common Space data. 

The choice of which dataset to use matters if you plan to also use common space scores from other federal courts and/or other political branches.   If you are using the Epstein, Martin, Segal, and Westerland JCS data currently available at http://epstein.wustl.edu/research/JCS.html, use the 113th Congress Data.   If you are using the GHP scores (from 2010) currently posted at http://artsandsciences.sc.edu/poli/juri/measures.htm, use the 110th Congress Data.  For further details on why the estimated scores change when a new Congress is added, see Voteview.


113th Congress Data Downloads (1937-2014 appointments): (Mac users "save link as...." to download)
  • .dta format (STATA 13)
  • .dta format (STATA 12)
  • .xlsx format (Excel)
  • Important notes: There is no common space score for FDR.  All judges requiring his score have missing values. All scores requiring President Truman's score were compiled using his Senate score.

110th Congress Data Downloads (1945-2008 appointments): (Mac users "save link as...." to download)

If you use these data, please cite:


Boyd, Christina L. 2015. "Federal District Court Judge Ideology Data." available at: http://cLboyd.net/ideology.html

As well as:

Giles, Micheal W., Virginia A. Hettinger and Todd Peppers. 2001. “Picking Federal Judges: A Note on Policy and Partisan Selection Agendas.” Political Research Quarterly 54(3):623-641.

Epstein, Lee, Andrew D. Martin, Jeffrey A. Segal and Chad Westerland. 2007. “The Judicial Common Space.” Journal of Law, Economics & Organization 23(2):303–325.

Other Related Citations:

Federal Judicial Center. 2007. “Federal Judges Biographical Database.” available at: http://www.fjc.gov/public/home.nsf/hisj.

Poole, Keith. 2009. “Common Space Scores, Congresses 75-110 (January 6, 2009).” available at: http://voteview.com/basic.htm.

Poole, Keith T. 1998. “Estimating a Basic Space From a Set of Issue Scales.” American Journal of Political Science 42:954–993.

Some of my papers using these scores:

Christina L. Boyd. 2015  "The Hierarchical Influence of Courts of Appeals on District Courts." Journal of Legal Studies. 44:113-141.

Christina L. Boyd. 2015. "Opinion Writing in the Federal District Courts." Justice System Journal. 36:254-273.

Christina L. Boyd. 2013. "She'll Settle It?" Journal of Law and Courts 1(2): 193-219.

Christina L. Boyd and Jacqueline Sievert. 2013. "Unaccountable Justice? The Decision Making of Magistrate Judges in the Federal District Courts" Justice System Journal 34(3): 249-273.

Christina L. Boyd and David A. Hoffman. 2010. "Disputing Limited Liability"  Northwestern University Law Review. 104(3): 853-916.



If you find any errors, please contact me: cLboyd@uga.edu