It’s probably an understatement to say that the drumbeat has been building for years for another woman to be appointed to the Supreme Court. And it’s not just a beat anymore — it’s become a relentless pounding of women’s fists on tables across the country.
Common wisdom suggests that President Barack Obama will name a woman to fill the Supreme Court seat being vacated by Justice David Souter. The names of Sonia Sotomayor, Kim Wardlaw, Elena Kagan and Jennifer Granholm seem to be on the short list, at least if you listen to the pundits on cable.
Without much fanfare, a new name seems to have been added, quite stealthily, to the list — Judge Carlos Moreno of the California Supreme Court.
There are many men and women who have the intellectual heft, and life experience, to be good additions to the Supreme Court. But as we’ve learned the hard way, judicial decisions that impact women are influenced in a certain way if women are on the bench. It’s not just that a female vote helps form a majority, but studies have found that there is a less tangible force at work that at least statistically suggests that courts are more likely to vote in favor of a woman plaintiff in discrimination cases if there is a woman on the bench.
I’m sure Lilly Ledbetter would have preferred that.
So I wondered as I read the news about Moreno, who’s name was suggested by Senator Dianne Feinstein, can President Obama withstand the political heat that would inevitably come from women voters and women’s groups if his first SCOTUS nominee leaves Ruth Bader Ginsburg as the lone woman on the Supreme Court?
I suppose there’s a chance that President Obama might think he’ll be in the clear if he appoints a male Justice, in light of this little poll that suggests the majority of Americans don’t think diversity is all that important a consideration when choosing a lifetime nominee to the highest court in the land.
I’m keeping my fingers crossed that the President pays no attention that poll. And I sure wouldn’t want to be him in a family full of strong black women if he puts more testosterone on the Supreme Court bench! Would Michelle make him sleep with FDOTUS?? If nothing else, I’m sure Oprah would have something to say about that — and I don’t think he wants to cross her. He’ll need her again in 2012!