Nancy Scherer

Associate Professor Emerita of Political Science

Retired as of 7/1/2023

Professor Scherer has research and teaching interests in American politics with a primary emphasis on judicial politics and public law. She is the author of the book Scoring Points: Politicians, Activists and the Lower Federal Court Appointment Process. The book explores why the federal court appointment process has become such a divisive political issue in the modern political era. Professor Scherer has also published articles in the journals Political Science Quarterly, Law and Society Review and Judicature on topics such as judicial decision-making behavior and judicial appointment politics. In 2008, she will have two articles published: "Sounding the Fire Alarm: The Role of Interest Groups in the Lower Federal Court Confirmation Process" (in the Journal of Politics) and "The Federalist Society's Impact on the Federal Judiciary" (in Political Research Quarterly). Currently, her research is focused on efforts to diversify the racial and gender make-up of the federal judiciary, and its potential impact on citizens' views of the justice system. She was the 2002 recipient of the Edwin S. Corwin Award, given by the American Political Science Association, for best dissertation on public law.

Survey for Diffuse Support Experiment_racial diversity (pdf).
Web Appendix_Backlash article (pdf).



Scoring Points: Politicians, Political Activists and the Lower Federal Court Appointment Process, Stanford University Press. 2005

Selected Articles

  • "Does Descriptive Race Representation Enhance Institutional Legitimacy: The Case of the U.S. Courts." Journal of Politics. Forthcoming, January 2010.
  • Web Appendix
  • "Federalist Society's Impact on the Federal Judiciary." Political Research Quarterly, forthcoming 2008.
  • “Blacks on the Bench.” Political Science Quarterly 119:655-672, 2004.
  • "The Impact of Divided Government on Judicial Ideology." Law and Society Review 35: 191-218, 2001.


  • Constitutional Law
  • Gender and Law
  • Courts, Law, and Politics
  • American Politics


  • B.A., Lafayette College
  • J.D., Emory University
  • Ph.D., University of Chicago