A Different Type Of Diversity Needed On The Future Supreme Court!

The Supreme Court used to be, for the longest time, nine white male Protestants. Now it is very diverse in so many ways: six Catholics, two Jews, two women, one African American, one Hispanic.

With the likelihood that Barack Obama may get two more appointments in this term–with the expected retirement of John Paul Stevens and the poor health of Ruth Bader Ginsberg as factors–it is time to consider a different type of diversity.

Instead of having only Justices who have been judges at the lower court levels, what is needed is people who have been engaged in the political system in other ways–as elected governors, senators, congressmen, mayors–or as cabinet members under Presidents.

In the past, we had such political luminaries as Charles Evans Hughes, Hugo Black, and Earl Warren on the Supreme Court. We had much speculation in the past twenty years that some day Utah Senator Orrin Hatch would be a Republican pick on the Court, and supposedly Maine Senator George Mitchell and New York Governor Mario Cuomo were queried about Court vacancies by President Clinton.

This would be a good trend, to have people on the Court who have experiences different from just judicial experience. There certainly are people in the American political system who could be seen as potential future Supreme Court Justices, and President Obama should use his imagination, when the time comes, to widen the diversity of the Supreme Court in a different direction!

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