Judge Kira Klatchko and Quinn Keefer have an article in the University of the Pacific Law Review here: Judicial Backgrounds Influence the Standard of Review Judicial Backgrounds Influence the Standard of Review
Our research, however, supports those scholars who posit that standards of review are often influenced by extraneous factors not anchored in a coherent legal conception of deference. We observe that across a broad spectrum of cases, different panels of jurists apply standards of review in a disparate manner, influenced by their personal backgrounds. Our research explores numerous aspects of personal background, including prior professional legal experience, length of time on the trial court, gender, and political affiliation. Among these categories, we discovered that only one exhibited a statistically significant impact on the selection and application of the standard of review: the type of prior professional legal experience of panelists. Specifically, we find that the criminal or civil practice background of jurists on a reviewing panel influences ultimate outcomes but also shapes the selection of the standard of review.