A Segal–Cover score is an attempt to measure the "perceived qualifications and ideology" of United States Supreme Court justices. The scores are created by analyzing pre-confirmation newspaper editorials regarding the nominations from The New York Times, Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, and The Wall Street Journal. Each nominee receives two scores that range from 0 to 1:
- Qualifications: 0 means unqualified and 1 means extremely qualified
- Ideology: 0 means most conservative, and 1 means most liberal.
The Segal–Cover scoring was introduced by Jeffrey Segal and Albert Cover (both of Stony Brook University) in their 1989 article "Ideological Values and the Votes of U.S. Supreme Court Justices". The scores have been updated by Segal to cover all nominees from Hugo Black in 1937 to the 2010 nomination of Elena Kagan. Segal and Cover found that the scores are strongly correlated with the subsequent votes of the justices. Because the scores are based on perceptions before the nominee takes a seat on the Court, they also provide "reliable measures of the ideological values of Supreme Court justices that are independent of the votes they later cast."
The Segal–Cover perceived qualifications and ideology scores for all nominees to the Court from 1937–2012:
|1||Black, HugoHugo Black||67 – 18||0.875||0.160|
|2||Reed, Stanley F.Stanley F. Reed||Voice Vote||0.725||0.875|
|3||Frankfurter, FelixFelix Frankfurter||Voice Vote||0.665||0.965|
|4||Douglas, William O.William O. Douglas||62 – 4||0.730||0.820|
|5||Murphy, FrankFrank Murphy||Voice Vote||1.000||0.650|
|6||Stone, Harlan F.Harlan F. Stone||CJ||Voice Vote||0.300||1.000|
|7||Byrnes, James F.James F. Byrnes||Voice Vote||0.330||0.800|
|8||Jackson, Robert H.Robert H. Jackson||Voice Vote||1.000||0.915|
|9||Rutledge, Wiley B.Wiley B. Rutledge||Voice Vote||1.000||1.000|
|10||Burton, Harold H.Harold H. Burton||Voice Vote||0.280||0.930|
|11||Vinson, Fred M.Fred M. Vinson||CJ||Voice Vote||0.750||0.785|
|12||Clark, Tom C.Tom C. Clark||73 – 8||0.500||0.125|
|13||Minton, ShermanSherman Minton||48 – 16||0.720||0.355|
|14||Warren, EarlEarl Warren||CJ||Voice Vote||0.750||0.855|
|15||Harlan, John M.John M. Harlan||71 – 11||0.875||0.750|
|16||Brennan, Jr., William J.William J. Brennan, Jr.||Voice Vote||1.000||1.000|
|17||Whittaker, Charles E.Charles E. Whittaker||Voice Vote||0.500||1.000|
|18||Stewart, PotterPotter Stewart||70 – 17||0.750||1.000|
|19||White, ByronByron White||Voice Vote||0.500||0.500|
|20||Goldberg, Arthur J.Arthur J. Goldberg||Voice Vote||0.750||0.915|
|21||Fortas, AbeAbe Fortas||Voice Vote||1.000||1.000|
|22||Marshall, ThurgoodThurgood Marshall||69 – 11||1.000||0.835|
|23||Fortas, AbeAbe Fortas||CJ||45 – 43 *||0.845||0.635|
|24||Burger, Warren E.Warren E. Burger||CJ||74 – 3||0.115||0.960|
|25||Haynsworth, Jr., ClementClement Haynsworth, Jr.||45 – 55||0.160||0.335|
|26||Carswell, G. HarroldG. Harrold Carswell||45 – 51||0.040||0.111|
|27||Blackmun, Harry A.Harry A. Blackmun||94 – 0||0.115||0.970|
|28||Powell, Jr., Lewis F.Lewis F. Powell, Jr.||89 – 1||0.165||1.000|
|29||Rehnquist, WilliamWilliam Rehnquist||68 – 26||0.045||0.885|
|30||Stevens, John PaulJohn Paul Stevens||98 – 0||0.250||0.960|
|31||O’Connor, Sandra DaySandra Day O’Connor||99 – 0||0.415||1.000|
|32||Rehnquist, WilliamWilliam Rehnquist||CJ||65 – 33||0.045||0.400|
|33||Scalia, AntoninAntonin Scalia||98 – 0||0.000||1.000|
|34||Bork, Robert H.Robert H. Bork||42 – 58||0.095||0.790|
|35||Ginsburg, DouglasDouglas Ginsburg||Withdrawn||0.000||0.320|
|36||Kennedy, AnthonyAnthony Kennedy||97 – 0||0.365||0.890|
|37||Souter, DavidDavid Souter||90 – 9||0.325||0.765|
|38||Thomas, ClarenceClarence Thomas||52 – 48||0.160||0.415|
|39||Ginsburg, Ruth BaderRuth Bader Ginsburg||96 – 3||0.680||1.000|
|40||Breyer, Stephen G.Stephen G. Breyer||87 – 9||0.475||0.545|
|41||Roberts, John G.John G. Roberts||CJ||78 – 22||0.120||0.970|
|42||Miers, Harriet E.Harriet E. Miers||Withdrawn||0.270||0.360|
|43||Alito, SamuelSamuel Alito||58 – 42||0.100||0.810|
|44||Sotomayor, SoniaSonia Sotomayor||68 – 31||0.780||0.810|
|45||Kagan, ElenaElena Kagan||63 – 37||0.730||0.730|
* The vote on Fortas for the Chief Justice position was on cloture and failed to receive the necessary two-thirds majority.
A highlighted row indicates that the Justice is currently serving on the Court. A Senate vote in red text indicates that the nomination was blocked.
- Segal, Jeffrey A.; Cover, Albert D. (June 1989). "Ideological Values and the Votes of U.S. Supreme Court Justices". The American Political Science Review 83 (2): 557–565. doi:10.2307/1962405.
- Segal, Jeffrey A.; Epstein, Lee; Cameron, Charles M.; Spaeth, Harold J. (August 1995). "Ideological Values and the Votes of U.S. Supreme Court Justices Revisited". The Journal of Politics 57 (03): 812–823. doi:10.2307/2960194.
- Segal, Jeffrey A. "Perceived Qualifications and Ideology of Supreme Court Nominees, 1937-2012". Retrieved 2012-04-04.
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