National Archive of Criminal Justice Data

This dataset is maintained and distributed by the National Archive of Criminal Justice Data (NACJD), the criminal justice archive within ICPSR. NACJD is primarily sponsored by three agencies within the U.S. Department of Justice: the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the National Institute of Justice, and the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.

Multi-User Database on the Attributes of United States Appeals Court Judges, 1801-2000 (ICPSR 6796)

Principal Investigator(s): Zuk, Gary; Barrow, Deborah J.; Gryski, Gerard S.


This project orignally was undertaken to compile a definitive database on the personal, social, economic, career, and political attributes of judges who served on the United States Courts of Appeals from 1801 to 1994 - it has now been updated to include information through the year 2000. The database includes conventional social background variables such as appointing president, religion, political party affiliation, education, and prior experience. In addition, unique items are provided: the temporal sequence of prior career experiences, the timing of and reason for leaving the bench, gender, race and ethnicity, position numbering analogous to the scheme used for the Supreme Court, American Bar Association rating, and net worth (for judges who began service on the bench after 1978). The second objective of this project was to merge these data with a multi-user database on United States Courts of Appeals decisions that is headed by Donald Songer and funded by the National Science Foundation. That database includes a unique identification number for each judge participating in a particular decision. The combined databases should enable scholars to explore: (1) intra- and inter-circuit fluctuation in the distribution of social background characteristics, (2) generational and presidential cohort variation in these attributes, and (3) state and partisan control of seats. The collection also facilitates the construction of models that examine the effects of personal attributes on decision-making, while controlling for the conditions above.

Access Notes

  • One or more files in this data collection have special restrictions ; consult the restrictions note to learn more. You can apply online for access to the restricted-use data. A login is required to apply.

    Access to these data is restricted. Users interested in obtaining these data must complete a Restricted Data Use Agreement, specify the reasons for the request, and obtain IRB approval or notice of exemption for their research.

    Any public-use data files in this collection are available for access by the general public. Access does not require affiliation with an ICPSR member institution.


No downloadable data files available.

Study Description


Zuk, Gary, Deborah J. Barrow, and Gerard S. Gryski. Multi-User Database on the Attributes of United States Appeals Court Judges, 1801-2000. ICPSR06796-v2. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2009-02-03.

Persistent URL:

Export Citation:

  • RIS (generic format for RefWorks, EndNote, etc.)
  • EndNote XML (EndNote X4.0.1 or higher)


This study was funded by:

  • National Science Foundation (SBR-93-11999)
  • United States Department of Justice. Office of Justice Programs. Bureau of Justice Statistics

Scope of Study

Subject Terms:    appellate courts, biographical data, careers, databases, educational background, ethnicity, judges, judicial decisions, personal finances, political affiliation, religious behavior, social history

Geographic Coverage:    United States

Time Period:   

  • 1801--2000

Date of Collection:   

  • 1993--2004

Universe:    All judges since the founding of the Republic.

Data Type(s):    census/enumeration data, survey data

Data Collection Notes:

Undocumented codes are present in the data.


Data Source:

Donald Songer's multi-user database and various publications, such as the JUDICIAL STAFF DIRECTORY, the FEDERAL JUDICIARY ALMANAC, THE AMERICAN BENCH: JUDGES OF THE NATION, the CONGRESSIONAL RECORD, and several WHO'S WHO volumes.

Extent of Processing:   ICPSR data undergo a confidentiality review and are altered when necessary to limit the risk of disclosure. ICPSR also routinely creates ready-to-go data files along with setups in the major statistical software formats as well as standard codebooks to accompany the data. In addition to these procedures, ICPSR performed the following processing steps for this data collection:

  • Checked for undocumented or out-of-range codes.


Original ICPSR Release:   1997-01-09

Version History:

  • 2009-02-03 The data were updated to include additional recent years -- 1995 through 2000 -- resulting in a title change. The codebook was updated, and the data were being reclassified as restricted.

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