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Monday, June 24, 2024 | Back issues
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Ahh, Diversity

At last someone has had the courage to expose the glaring lack of diversity on the nation's highest court.

There is not a single nonjudge on the U S. Supreme Court.

I have to admit that even I, sensitive as I am to social injustice, had not been aware of this sad state of affairs.

Fortunately, a law professor (who is not a judge) has pointed this out in the current issue of "The Atlantic" in a piece called "Clones on the Court."

I was hoping this was going to be about some unfair legal proceeding against Han Solo, but it turned out that the author wanted to point out that all the current Supreme Court justices are former lower court judges.

Clearly a case of institutional bias.

Why is this a bad thing?

Well, for one thing, according to the author, there's all that reliance by judges on precedent, which "can be dead wrong. And lower-court judges, who daily slice and eat this doctrinal baloney, may be ill-equipped to see it for what it is."

So, naturally, an all-judge Supreme Court would never reverse decades of gun control or voting rights rulings.

The Atlantic author seemed to think that appointing former senators and high-level executive branch appointees to the court would be a good thing, because we all know how thoughtful, intellectual and selfless those people are.

OK, he didn't say that last part, but he did say the first part.

There's a really odd paragraph in the piece that says "a president can turn a single Supreme Court vacancy into three judicial appointments," by appointing just one new judge for the ideological team that he/she likes. I'd advise anyone against hiring this guy as a scorekeeper.

But I'm quibbling (one of my favorite pastimes). Diversity, after all, is usually a good thing. If you're going to diversify, though, do it for real. There are lots of other types of people who could add perspective to the Supreme Court.

Naturally, I have suggestions:

Some kid: Supreme Court rulings are too long and tedious for most Americans to read and understand. We need representation by someone who understands Twitter and YouTube. Important rulings should go viral.

A guy who works for a living: Who better to understand the rights of workers than a worker?

That guy's boss: Corporate persons need empathy too.

A winner of Project Runway: Those robes! Need I say more?

A Muppet: I don't have a reason for this. I'd just like to see a Muppet on the Supreme Court. One with the dignity of Big Bird and the gravitas of Oscar. You'd get children interested in the court system. So I guess I do have a reason.

An insane person: I know some of you are thinking that the insane already have representation on the court, but do those guys hear voices in their heads and have phantom enemies tapping their phones and stealing their socks? OK, maybe they do, but we don't know that. We need someone who's been officially designated insane by a real mental health expert. This will force the rest of the court to act as sanely as possible so as not to be compared with the freak.

An insult comic: Litigants need to know their place.

A weekly columnist: That's obvious, isn't it?

More diversity. The National Law Journal last week also weighed in on diversity, in an article called "Study: Law Faculties Short on White Christians, Republicans."

Who knew there could be a shortage of those things?

It seems that a Northwestern University law professor has done a study that shows that the percentages of whites and Republicans on law faculties are smaller than their percentages in the legal profession and society.

The professor, assuming his thoughts weren't taken out of context, seemed to be saying this was not a good thing and that law faculties ought to somehow reflect society.

I'm thinking maybe what this really shows is that minorities on faculties aren't doing much to change society. White guys and Republicans shouldn't complain.

A lot of those professors probably couldn't get jobs with law firms.

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