Adam Chilton and Colleagues’ Study Found Ideology Impacted Court Mask Mandates

GOP-appointed judges less likely to require masks during COVID - study

Chief federal district judges appointed by Republican presidents were less likely to require masks in court as a response to COVID-19, but more likely to suspend in-person trials, according to a new study by four law professors.

The study, made public Thursday, comes from Adam Chilton of the University of Chicago Law School, Christopher Cotropia of the University of Richmond School of Law, Kyle Rozema of the Washington University School of Law and David Schwartz of the Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law.

The Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts, which oversees the operations of federal courts nationwide, declined to comment.

Federal courts' COVID policies were generally set by the chief judges for each judicial district. The study's authors said they focused on the 24 states that have multiple districts, in order to separate the effect of judges' ideology from any requirements imposed by state governments.

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