The ABA Journal states:
In federal racial harassment cases, one study (PDF) found that plaintiffs lost just 54 percent of the time when the judge handling the case was an African-American. Yet plaintiffs lost 81 percent of the time when the judge was Hispanic, 79 percent when the judge was white, and 67 percent of the time when the judge was Asian American.
The second study, the legal journal notes, shows that plaintiffs in federal sexual harassment or discrimination cases "were at least twice as likely to win if a female judge was on the appellate panel."
University of Pittsburgh School of Law Professor Pat K. Chew, who co-authored the racial harassment study, told the ABA Journal, "It's always made a difference who the judge was. We've long known, for instance, that a judge's political affiliation makes a difference."
Last summer, ACS hosted a panel discussion examining diversity of the courts. The panel, moderated by David Savage of the Los Angeles Times, included University of Maryland School of Law Professor Sherrilyn Ifill and University of Nevada, Las Vegas School of Law Professor Sylvia Lazos. Video of the panel discussion is here. Following the panel discussion, Ifill and Lazos talked with ACSblog about diversifying the courts.