Kinder Institute: Justice Grayed, Delayed, and Aged

Supreme Court justices, 1923

Kinder Institute: “Justice Grayed, Delayed, and Aged”


The Kinder Institute at the University of Missouri, a JMC partner program, will be hosting a lecture from Ryan Owens on “The Effects of Cognitive Aging on Federal Circuit Court Judges.”

Cognitive aging affects all humans. For many people, it can lead to significant concerns in their daily lives. For federal judges who enjoy lifetime tenure, cognitive aging can lead to problematic constitutional consequences. We connect neuroscience theory on human cognitive aging to the work of federal appellate judges. Our empirical results show that cognitive aging influences how judges behave. Aged judges require more time than their younger colleagues to draft their opinions. Moreover, the data demonstrate that older judges rely on the cognitive shortcut of ideology to compensate for increased cognitive costs. These findings raise important normative questions about the institution of lifetime tenure for federal judges.”

Friday, February 28, 2020 • 3:30 PM
Jesse Hall, Room 410 • University of Missouri

Free and open to the public

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Ryan Owens is the George C. and Carmella P. Edwards Professor of American Politics, Director of the Tommy G. Thompson Center on Public Leadership at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. He is also an affiliate faculty member of the UW Law School. Professor Owens studies law and courts and American political institutions. His work analyzes the United States Supreme Court, the United States Courts of Appeals, legal institutions, and judicial behavior. Professor Owens’s work has appeared in the American Journal of Political Science, Journal of Politics, Political Research Quarterly, the Georgetown Law Journal, the William & Mary Law Review, the University of Illinois Law Review, Law & Society Review, and the Journal of Law and Courts.

Learn more about Ryan Owens >>



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