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Judicial Selection: Data & Other Resources

These data sources provide more info about the courts, including spending in judicial elections and diversity on the bench.

Published: June 6, 2016

Judicial Selection Methods

The data used to create the Brennan Center’s interactive map includes judicial selection information, including statutory citations, by state, court level, selection phase, and term lengths.

Judicial selection and retention data for every state, as of 2015.

State-specific information on how judges are selected in different states at different court levels, term lengths, and more.

Judicial Campaigns

Our groundbreaking Buying Time analysis, first conducted in 2000, examines the sponsorship, content, and costs of televised state supreme court campaign ads. Data for these ads, including spending, spot counts, tones, and themes, can be found here, and our interactive ad database can be found here.

This series contains data on campaign contributions, television spending, and independent expenditures for each election. See the most recent report on the 2015–16 cycle here.

Online archive of contributions to political campaigns in all 50 states, including for state supreme courts and intermediate appellate courts.

Judicial Diversity

                   Report on the racial ethnic, and gender diversity of state supreme courts.                           See the February 2020 update here

Complete dataset of race/ethnicity and gender data for state court judges at all levels in all states and the District of Columbia. Data is current as of December 2014.

Map of the 2014 representation of women state court judges in the U.S., according to The American Bench 2014, a biennial judicial directory.

Includes partial data on racial/ethnic makeup of the judiciary.

Complete race/ethnicity and gender data for state supreme courts, intermediate appellate courts, and trial courts based off 2008 and 2009 data.

Provides a data on the diversity state court benches, nationally and at the state level.

Includes data on the demographic diversity of the federal judicial nominees of the six most recent presidents.

Provides demographic information for all current and former federal judges.

Judicial Recusal

Grades for all 39 states that elect judges based on "whether the states that elect judges have addressed the conflicts of interest that come with multimillion-dollar judicial elections."


Grades for all 50 states based on what contributor information is disclosed, the timeliness and quality of campaign finance data, and public access to the data in 2016.

Grades for all 50 states assessing the independent spending disclosure requirements that were in effect as of March 2016. 

Access to Justice

Data showing the progress of  each state 50 state justice system in adopting best practices for ensuring access to justice for all. 

Court Statistics

Caseload data from the courts of the fifty states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. Includes partial data on racial/ethnic makeup of the judiciary.

Public Polling

NCSC conducted surveys in 2016 and 2017 of public trust and confidence in the courts, including questions of inefficiency, unfairness, and overall faith in the judicial system.

Polling from the past 15 years on the impact of special interest money on the integrity of the courts, and other questions.