The Supreme Court of the United States is a very “forbidding” institution, with its marble building, opened in 1935, its arches, its tightly controlled public access, and even the robes worn by the nine Supreme Court Justices as they listen to case arguments in the Supreme Court chamber.
The Court has always been seen as an intimidating place, and historically, the Court Justices have made themselves seem distant and aloof from the general public.
But now we are fortunate to have two women on the Court who are particularly open and accessible, and even Associate Justice Elena Kagan has already become much more of a public face, joining Associate Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor in that endeavor.
Ginsburg has, for years, spoken to public school students, given interviews, and made herself the public face of the Court, and now Sotomayor, in particular, and Kagan, somewhat as well, have opened up to the public, with Sotomayor now on a book tour for her revealing autobiography, which makes it easy for average citizens to relate to her and the insecurities she felt as she went from a poor childhood in the Bronx, New York, all the way up the ladder to the Supreme Court.
So two women in particular, and even Kagan moving in that direction, opens up the Court, and it is time for the men on the Court to stop their aloofness and reserve, and show the American people that, while they make judgments on cases as they relate to the Constitution, they are still human beings with real lives and concerns that should not be withheld from public scrutiny.
It would be easier for Americans to respect our system of law and courts if there was more open access to these people, and the women on the Court have done a great service in that regard!