According to a New York Times summary of research by political scientists, lawyers in the US are more liberal than the country as a whole and this is especially true of government lawyers, law professors, public defenders, female lawyers and lawyers who graduated from the Top 14 law schools. In contrast, judges are ideologically close to the country as a whole, with some (state and federal trial court) slightly more liberal and others (state high court and federal circuit court) slightly more conservative.
The New York Times summary: “Politics plays a really significant role in shaping our judicial system,” said Maya Sen, a political scientist at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and one of the authors of the study. Since judges tend to be more conservative than lawyers, she said, it stands to reason that the officials who appoint judges and the voters who elect them are taking account of ideology. She said the phenomenon amounted to a politicization of the courts, driven largely by conservatives’ swimming against the political tide of the legal profession.