Obama Picks Another Woman for Supreme Court

Judge Kagen
I guess he wants another skirt on the bench. Wait a minute, they all wear skirts. Replacing one liberal with another.

We’ll see if she’s liberal.

In any event, it sounds like she’s extremely bright (notwithstanding the above :wink: ).

I wonder if any will criticize her for not having one day’s experience working as a judge. If so, they’d better keep this interesting trivia in mind:

latimes.com/news/nationworld … 0970.story

We will need to wait for the Monday right wing podcasts and blog updates before we get some naysaying from the anti-Obama set on here (aka the group of four). Can’t bring a spoon to a knife fight now can we? Look for this thread to heat up after 9pm Taiwan time Monday night (9am EST).

nytimes.com/2010/05/07/us/po … kagan.html
I can see how this item, not letting military recruit from Harvard, will be a big issue at confirmation. It’s just made for politcal grandstanding.

I wonder how many Harvard Law students volunteered to fight in Iraq anyway.

Kagan would be the third woman on the nine-justice bench if confirmed. To be proportional we actually need between 4.5 and 5 women on the bench, right?

Doc, you’re right some conservatives may take that quote out of context for political grandstanding. But perhaps they wouldn’t if they read the whole email and saw how patriotic and respectful of the military her statement was.

[quote]This action causes me deep distress, as I know it does a great many others. I abhor the military’s discriminatory recruitment policy. The [color=#FF0000]importance of the military to our society [/color]-- and the [color=#FF0000]extraordinary service that members of the military provide to all the rest of us [/color]-- makes this discrimination more, not less, repugnant. The military’s policy deprives many men and women of courage and character from having the [color=#FF0000]opportunity to serve their country in the greatest way possible[/color]. This is a profound wrong – a moral injustice of the first order. And it is a wrong that tears at the fabric of our own community, because [color=#FF0000]some of our members cannot, while others can, devote their professional careers to their country. [/color]

The Law School remains committed to the principle of [color=#FF0000]equal opportunity for all persons[/color], without discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. As a result, the Law School remains opposed to the military’s discriminatory employment practices. [/quote]
hlrecord.org/2.4462/kagan-e- … l-1.580120

Geez, how can one take issue with that?

I am conservative, no?

I had no problem with Sonia Sotomayor. I have even less problem with Elena Kagan. They are both qualified and deserve to serve on our highest court. Don’t look for an issue to be made when there is no reason to do so. She will be confirmed. She deserves to be. I think that most Americans will recognize that and support this nomination. Really, after all, was that much made of Sonia Sotomayor’s confirmation? I think that these two nominations will be far easier and less vitriolic than those for John Roberts and Alito.

I think it is more interesting that there will be no WASPs on the court. There will be six Catholics and three Jews.

And I think that it would be unAmerican to focus on their religious backgrounds rather than their professional abilities. Sorry.

Well, I don’t think that their religious background has any bearing on whether they should be appointed or confirmed, but it is of interest historically. Jews were victims of a quota system at many universities just a couple of generations ago just like Asian are now. When will we have our first Chinese-American or Indian-American justice? Sooner than people think probably.

Yes, historically, it is of interest. Just wanted to be clear that the decisions behind who should be chosen should not rest on the backgrounds but that is not what you meant clearly so… just ignore that last comment of mine.

How many Hindus are on the bench? When will the Hindus see justice!

Demographics including religion (or lack thereof), gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation and so on are relevant not just out of historical interest but also (as I’m sure you’ll agree) as indicators both of the extent to which various groups have equal opportunities, and of the extent to which they have been able to achieve equal status in positions of leadership. These are important yardsticks of the social and moral health of our nation.

There hasn’t been an atheist on the USSC yet. I’d like to see an atheist there!

Not unless you want to have a proportioned representation on the court by traits that the justices have largely no control over. I’d prefer to get the best justice possible rather than use those criterion to make up for “historical imbalances”. With Justice Stevens retiring, there will be no Protestants left on the bench. Various flavors of protestantism make up roughly 51% of the US today and Catholics make up about 25%, yet there will be no Protestants on the bench and 6 Catholics (66%). Jews make up about 1.7% of the US population and there are two Jews on the bench (22%). Does this overrepresentation matter at all? No it doesn’t. It’s an interesting statistical note, but it shouldn’t be how we choose Supreme Court Justices.

American’s don’t care if the justice is black, hispanic, female, or protestant as long as they make the court more conservative than it currently is.

We’ll see if Kagan can get the nod or not. She had 31 votes against her nomination for Solicitor General. That doesn’t bode well going into the nomination phase of the Supreme Court. She has little experience outside of academia, which will be a strike against her compared to the other candidates. More importantly, she has to file a brief for the government’s response to AZ’s law against employers hiring illegal aliens this month. She’s going to piss some group off, either conservatives or liberals.

It’s an overly simplistic metric. Would anyone argue that Hindus don’t have equal opportunities, just because there’s no Hindu on this court? The fact is that there’s simply no way to make a court sufficiently representative of every group with regard to religion, gender, ethnicity, or sexual orientation. And that’s a far more significant issue. That’s what juries at least try to aim for. That’s at least an attempt at genuine proportional representation, which such court appointments as these certainly are not. Court appointments such as these say a lot more about the opportunities for success which are available to the tiny minority US wealthy and powerful political elite.

We could argue instead that it’s a great indication of the nation’s social and moral health that the tiny minority wealthy and powerful political elite contains some ethnic representation (‘Hey look, the US is a fantastically moral nation because even blacks can become part of a rich and powerful political oligarchy!’), but the irony would be overpowering. The fact that certain appointments are open only to a tiny minority wealthy and powerful political elite is possibly a more poignant metric of the social and moral health of the nation.

In the meantime:

Does that look healthy?

The point is that before only male WASPs were ever appointed. In less happy times, Justice McReynolds (on the court from 1914 to 1941)

While Sonia Sotomayer may be part of your “tiny minority wealthy and powerful political elite” now, she hardly started off that way growing up in the Bronx.

[quote]Feiren wrote:
I think it is more interesting that there will be no WASPs on the court. There will be six Catholics and three Jews.

Does that look healthy? [/quote]

Seems fine to me.

Fortigurn, that’s ridiculous.

The people elected to the Supreme Court should be people with a long and thorough understanding of the legal system, gained through years of practice at the bar and as a judge. That’s just the way it’s got to be for the top court in the land! How can one have anything different?

Surely you’re not suggesting a senior criminal should be elected simply because he fits the proportional representation criteria, and being poor, non-white, non-christian and non-male?

While perhaps not all senior judges are part of “a tiny minority wealthy and powerful political elite”, I think you’d be hardpressed to find a senior judge who is not wealthy, not a member of the elite, and not held to be a respected member of the community. They are all at the top of a pyramid.

When more people of different ethnicities and religions advance to the level of senior judges, then that pool will be broadened and the case will be made to have more different people at the Supreme Court. But doing so prematurely, putting inexperienced people in, is doing so for the wrong reasons. But even so, they will always be members of a wealthy, connected elite.

If this woman is not a judge, but has other skills and experiences which are of value, then that’s understandable, but if she’s being elected simply because she’s a woman then that’s wrong.

I agree, there has certainly been progress. Now we have female WASPS, and a few Jews! Real representation!

As I said, it shows the fantastic opportunities certain groups have to become part of the tiny minority wealthy and powerful political elite.

So ‘healthy’ means ‘a good representation of Catholics and Jews’. Noted.

Indeed. It’s not for everyone, that’s for certain. That is a system which favours those who have access to wealth and powerful political connections.

Not in the least. I have no idea what this has to do with anything.

My point exactly.

[quote]When more people of different ethnicities and religions advance to the level of senior judges, then that pool will be broadened and the case will be made to have more different people at the Supreme Court. But doing so prematurely, putting inexperienced people in, is doing so for the wrong reasons. But even so, they will always be members of a wealthy, connected elite.[/quote

Ta da! No one is suggesting ‘putting inexperienced people in’, by the way.

Duck and cover! :no-no:

Well, since Fortigurn didn’t choose her, she’s clearly the wrong candidate.