dr. Luzmarina Garcia
Luzmarina Garcia completed her Ph.D. in political science at the University of Illinois. Her research investigates the health of American courts with an eye to public opinion, representation, and inter-branch relations. She is especially interested in gender and judicial decision-making and the study of these topics in administrative courts, such as immigration and tax courts. She also holds a B.A. from the University of Texas at El Paso. Her book project “How Women Rule: Judicial Empathy and Administrative Court Rulings” uses mixed methods to analyze gender differences and biases, proposing a theory which posits that gender differences may arise due to differences in empathy. Judicial empathy implies lenient rulings under certain conditions, such as when the effect of a ruling is difficult to quantify. In such cases, perceptions of the stakes to an adversely affected party may differ by gender even among people with similar training. These implications are tested using experiments, court data, and interviews. This work is the first to provide robust empirical support for judicial empathy across levels of training.