Diversity on the Supreme Court

May 8th, 2009

I noted earlier in A New Supreme Court Justice that diversity is the primary consideration among Democrats for a nominee to replace Associate Justice David H. Souter on the Supreme Court. 

President Obama is searching for the best legal mind in the country, of course, as long as the possessor of that mind is empathetic, sensitive to the needs of the less-privileged, and not overly attached to that tired old Constitution and the laws.  However, as a first priority that ideal nominee must be female, African American, or Hispanic.  White males, Jews (I suspect), and anyone else not in the favored diversity categories need not apply.

The New York Times published an editorial yesterday that provides a clear window into this leftist thinking.  It starts out bemoaning the assertion that Federal Judge Sonia Sotomayor is being subjected to unfair character assassination even though she hasn’t been nominated.  Then the editorial defends her, even though she hasn’t been nominated and no public vetting of her has occurred.  It’s enough simply that she’s a female Hispanic, apparently.

The editorial goes on to praise a number of potential nominees, all of them in the quota-worthy categories.  There seems to be no one in the United States outside those categories who would be suitable for nomination to the Supreme Court, in the opinion of The New York Times.

And then the conclusion:

Conservatives also have been attacking some of the potential nominees for being gay, possibly gay, or “gay friendly.” At a time when states such as Iowa and Maine are legalizing same-sex marriage, Mr. Obama should not be deterred. Adding a gay justice would make the court more fully representative of the nation.

The White House has no doubt been reviewing a long list of nominees. When President Obama makes his decision, he should ignore the uninformed and mean-spirited chattering and select the best person for the job.

“The best person for the job.”  Really?

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4 Responses to “Diversity on the Supreme Court”

  1. John Q |

    If the world was perfect there would not be any need to pick people for jobs like the Supreme Court based on diversity. But there is a need to do that. We have so many different kinds of people in the country that all deserve to see faces on the Supreme Court that will make them feel like they are represented. Sure there are white males who are qualified but there are also others who are just as well qualified.

    The president and senate will find someone they are comfortable with. People who don’t like that can do something about it in the next election. Until then everybody should just relax.

  2. doris |

    There’s nothing wrong with diversity, but always the most qualified person should get every job, most qualified, then most ethnic, most female, most gay, and so forth. But for god’s sake, stop all the hiring women and ethnicities for that reason only. It is ridiculous to hire on that basis and not have a clue to the job requirements. That happens far too often in every sector of society–auto parts, my pet peeve place. The girl, woman, always has to ask the man, why would you take a job that you don’t plan on ever understanding? I know for sure I have to ask the man, and I don’t need a go between. I really hope the most qualified and scandal-free person gets the supreme court job, but that remains to be seen.

  3. Harvey |


    Great article! I just posted an article on the same subject on my blog (before reading this one) and we are pretty much in sync. I was going to post my article here but there is no need, you’ve put the message out loudly and clearly.

  4. Brian |

    John Q, the USSC is supposed to represent and protect the constitution. None of the justices has a “constituency.” By insisting on selecting someone other than the most qualified, what you are likely to get (from this administration) is someone with strong liberal leanings. It has been rather well-established that black Americans consistently vote for a “D” at a ratio of about 19:1 vs “R”, and Hispanics consistently vote at a ratio of about 3:1. What this means in jurisprudence (with black or Hispanics jurists) quite typically is judicial activism. Liberal philosophy is one thing, but judicial activism is another, and there is simply no place for it.

    There is no room on the USSC for a justice that doesn’t hew to the constitution as it was written and intended. To act otherwise undermines the constitution. As I have already said, to assume that the constitution needs to “change with the times” utterly ignores Article V (how to amend the constitution) and tends to undermine the ethical authority of a republican form of government (while simultaneously consolidating its power).

    In ratifying the constitution, the states ceded four primary authorities to the new republican, federal government (as opposed to a national government).
    1. Treaty-making authority was ceded to the federal government
    2. Defense
    3. coining money
    4. Tariffs/duties and regulation of interstate commerce

    The senate was originally established as a “house of ambassadors” for the states. Do you think it was an accident that the representatives of the states (not of the people) had sole treaty-ratification power? Was it an accident that the representatives of the states had sole authority to approve USSC nominees (especially in light of the fact that it was the federal government via the USSC that was THE arbiter for disputes between the states)? Was it an accident that the representatives of the states had sole power to remove the president, vice president, and federal judges from office?

    Even most conservative judges have lost sight of the very limited role the federal government was to have in our day to day lives. By these standards, I imagine that the pool of qualified candidates is rather small indeed. These standards would exclude almost all “Ds” and probably a large majority of “Rs”. You’d probably have as much luck finding a rose in a bordello than you would a black or hispanic with a classical liberal understanding of the role of the federal government. Of those with wide recognition, only Walter Williams and Thomas Sowell would fit. But alas, they are the “wrong kind of black” for what the president wants.

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