Illinois State Professor Meghan Leonard presented a paper she co-authored with Florida Gulf Coast University Professor Joseph V. Ross titled “Gender and Opinion Assignment on State Supreme Courts” at a brown bag lunch held October 17 at Illinois State. The paper examined the role gender plays when individual justices on state supreme courts are assigned to author a majority opinion.

Using an original data set of 6,000 state supreme court decisions from all states over the years 1990–2015, Leonard and Ross tested two key expectations, namely, the expectations that women opinion authors are more likely to be assigned more complex opinions and that they are less likely to be assigned opinions that have an important policy effect.

The brown bag lunch was attended by faculty and graduate students.