Segal–Cover score

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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:

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".[1][2] The scores have been updated by Segal to cover all nominees from Hugo Black in 1937 to the 2010 nomination of Elena Kagan.[3] In 2017, Segal provided the scores for Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court Database.[4]

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."[1]

The Segal–Cover perceived qualifications and ideology scores for all nominees to the Court from 1937–2017:

Nom.
Order
Nominee Chief
Justice
Senate
Vote
Ideology
Score
Qualifications
Score
Nominator (Party) Year
1 Hugo Black 67 – 18 0.875 0.160 Franklin D. Roosevelt (Democrat) 1937
2 Stanley F. Reed Voice Vote 0.725 0.875 Franklin D. Roosevelt (Democrat) 1938
3 Felix Frankfurter Voice Vote 0.665 0.965 Franklin D. Roosevelt (Democrat) 1939
4 William O. Douglas 62 – 4 0.730 0.820 Franklin D. Roosevelt (Democrat) 1939
5 Frank Murphy Voice Vote 1.000 0.650 Franklin D. Roosevelt (Democrat) 1940
6 Harlan F. Stone CJ Voice Vote 0.300 1.000 Franklin D. Roosevelt (Democrat) 1941
7 James F. Byrnes Voice Vote 0.330 0.800 Franklin D. Roosevelt (Democrat) 1941
8 Robert H. Jackson Voice Vote 1.000 0.915 Franklin D. Roosevelt (Democrat) 1941
9 Wiley B. Rutledge Voice Vote 1.000 1.000 Franklin D. Roosevelt (Democrat) 1943
10 Harold H. Burton Voice Vote 0.280 0.930 Harry S. Truman (Democrat) 1945
11 Fred M. Vinson CJ Voice Vote 0.750 0.785 Harry S. Truman (Democrat) 1946
12 Tom C. Clark 73 – 8 0.500 0.125 Harry S. Truman (Democrat) 1949
13 Sherman Minton 48 – 16 0.720 0.355 Harry S. Truman (Democrat) 1949
14 Earl Warren CJ Voice Vote 0.750 0.855 Dwight D. Eisenhower (Republican) 1953
15 John M. Harlan II 71 – 11 0.875 0.750 Dwight D. Eisenhower (Republican) 1955
16 William J. Brennan, Jr. Voice Vote 1.000 1.000 Dwight D. Eisenhower (Republican) 1956
17 Charles E. Whittaker Voice Vote 0.500 1.000 Dwight D. Eisenhower (Republican) 1957
18 Potter Stewart 70 – 17 0.750 1.000 Dwight D. Eisenhower (Republican) 1958
19 Byron White Voice Vote 0.500 0.500 John F. Kennedy (Democrat) 1962
20 Arthur J. Goldberg Voice Vote 0.750 0.915 Lyndon B. Johnson (Democrat) 1965
21 Abe Fortas Voice Vote 1.000 1.000 Lyndon B. Johnson (Democrat) 1965
22 Thurgood Marshall 69 – 11 1.000 0.835 Lyndon B. Johnson (Democrat) 1967
23 Abe Fortas CJ 45 – 43 * 0.845 0.635 Lyndon B. Johnson (Democrat) 1968
24 Warren E. Burger CJ 74 – 3 0.115 0.960 Richard M. Nixon (Republican) 1969
25 Clement Haynsworth, Jr. 45 – 55 0.160 0.335 Richard M. Nixon (Republican) 1969
26 G. Harrold Carswell 45 – 51 0.040 0.111 Richard M. Nixon (Republican) 1969
27 Harry A. Blackmun 94 – 0 0.115 0.970 Richard M. Nixon (Republican) 1970
28 Lewis F. Powell, Jr. 89 – 1 0.165 1.000 Richard M. Nixon (Republican) 1972
29 William Rehnquist 68 – 26 0.045 0.885 Richard M. Nixon (Republican) 1972
30 John Paul Stevens 98 – 0 0.250 0.960 Gerald Ford (Republican) 1975
31 Sandra Day O’Connor 99 – 0 0.415 1.000 Ronald Reagan (Republican) 1981
32 William Rehnquist CJ 65 – 33 0.045 0.400 Ronald Reagan (Republican) 1986
33 Antonin Scalia 98 – 0 0.000 1.000 Ronald Reagan (Republican) 1986
34 Robert H. Bork 42 – 58 0.095 0.790 Ronald Reagan (Republican) 1987
35 Douglas Ginsburg Withdrawn 0.000 0.320 Ronald Reagan (Republican) 1987
36 Anthony Kennedy 97 – 0 0.365 0.890 Ronald Reagan (Republican) 1988
37 David Souter 90 – 9 0.325 0.765 George H. W. Bush (Republican) 1990
38 Clarence Thomas 52 – 48 0.160 0.415 George H. W. Bush (Republican) 1991
39 Ruth Bader Ginsburg 96 – 3 0.680 1.000 Bill Clinton (Democrat) 1993
40 Stephen G. Breyer 87 – 9 0.475 0.545 Bill Clinton (Democrat) 1994
41 John G. Roberts CJ 78 – 22 0.120 0.970 George W. Bush (Republican) 2005
42 Harriet E. Miers Withdrawn 0.270 0.360 George W. Bush (Republican) 2005
43 Samuel Alito 58 – 42 0.100 0.810 George W. Bush (Republican) 2006
44 Sonia Sotomayor 68 – 31 0.780 0.810 Barack Obama (Democrat) 2009
45 Elena Kagan 63 – 37 0.730 0.730 Barack Obama (Democrat) 2010
46 Neil Gorsuch 54 – 45 0.110 0.930 Donald Trump (Republican) 2017

* 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.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b 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. JSTOR 1962405. 
  2. ^ 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. 
  3. ^ Segal, Jeffrey A. "Perceived Qualifications and Ideology of Supreme Court Nominees, 1937-2012" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-04-04. 
  4. ^ Epstein, Lee; Walker, Thomas G.; Staudt, Nancy; Hendrickson, Scott; Roberts, Jason (July 3, 2017). "The U.S. Supreme Court Justices Database". Retrieved October 26, 2017.