Recently, a study from one of my former colleagues at Tulane Law School attracted national attention, including on this blog. The study by Tulane Law Professor Vernon Palmer and Loyola assistant professor of economics John Levendis found a disturbing correlation between contributions and voting on the Court. The Louisiana Supreme Court Chief Justice Pascal F. Calogero Jr., has now released a letter from Tulane Law School Dean Lawrence Ponoroff apologizing to the Court for errors in the study.
The errors were found in “The Louisiana Supreme Court in Question: An Empirical and Statistical Study of the Effects of Campaign Money on the Judicial Function.” The Dean acknowledged that the errors undermined the “reliability of some or all of the authors’ conclusions in the study as published” and expressed “sincere regret” to the Court and to its individual Justices.
The law review has also posted an Erratum that states
“The Louisiana Supreme Court in Question: An Empirical Statistical Study of the Effects of Campaign Money on the Judicial Function published in Volume 82 of the Tulane Law Review at 1291 (2008), was based on empirical data coded by the authors, but the data contained numerous coding errors. Tulane Law Review learned of the coding errors after the publication. Necessarily, these errors call into question some or all of the conclusions in the study as published.”
[Worse yet, a law student now stands accused of stealing one of the shoes of Mr. Rogers]
For the press release on the apology from the Supreme Court, click here.