The swearing-in of Amy Coney Barrett as an associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court strikes an important chord in favor of true diversity. Justice Barrett will bring to America’s highest court new thoughts and perspectives. This is a far more important diversity than the prurient identity-politics-driven drivel dogmatically demanded by the political Left.
Other than the new justice, every current member of the U.S. Supreme Court graduated from either Harvard or Yale University for law school. With only a slight degree of variance, then, all attended the same classes, in the same buildings, with the same professors and student bodies, inherited the same academic traditions, and matriculated into the same part of the country, New England.
This monolith is the antithesis of diversity.
Barrett, conversely, attended Notre Dame Law School. Regardless of her philosophies, politics and impressive personal story, the fact that she attended a different law school than her colleagues means that she will diversify, and thus enrich, the cerebral resources of the Supreme Court. Notre Dame sits in Indiana broadening geographical perspective.
This is undeniably diverse. The race-fixated lemmings on the Left, though, cannot perceive it, much less rejoice.
To the extent that the Left wants to claim that Barrett’s appointment lacks diversity, there is an argument to be made there. As usual, the truth lies well outside the Leftist conventions.
Almost without exception, Supreme Court justices are appointed from the federal appellate bench. It is the case with Barrett, who came from the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals. On that metric, her selection was anything but diverse.
With that in mind creating true diversity on the U.S. Supreme Court would dictate prioritizing two factors:
- No Harvard or Yale law school graduates as candidates; and
- No federal circuit court of appeals judges as candidates.
For the latter, excellent venues would provide fertile ground for outstanding candidates whose appointment would add real diversity to the Supreme Court. For example:
- Jurist from a court of military appeal or military lawyer;
- State attorney general or United States Attorney;
- Federal or state government agency head or top attorney;
- Acclaimed practitioner with extensive trial and appellate experience; or
- Premier legal academic in a real-world field.
Using the foregoing for a pool of applicants would not only diversify the Supreme Court, it would make the Supreme Court more inclusive. The Supreme Court could pull from a far more vast pool of knowledge and intellectual orientations when making decisions. Viewpoints and methodologies would widen.
Some might claim that the discerning the political philosophy of a would-be Supreme Court justice requires going to the federal circuit bench. They posit that decisional histories provide a reliable window into judicial philosophies.
But there are other ways, publication histories for one. What topics does the candidate write on outside of the job? Is there an identified perspective? Is the scholarship relied upon the courts and other professionals? How influential are this candidate’s thoughts?
Another would be the professional addresses. Do judges or practitioners seek this candidate out as an expert lecturer? How often? On what subjects? Are there presentation materials?
Examining both areas would be revealing, likely more than decisional history. These backgrounds would account for what the aspirant wants to explore, as opposed to what she or he has to decide as a judge.
Want more proof? Many have observed that around 50% of Republican U.S. Supreme Court appointments take a hard turn to the Left once they actually preside. So much for business as usual!
The quality of justice that Americans receive would benefit from both parties employing vetting processes that would ensure real diversity when it comes to appointing judges everywhere.
That is also true here in Georgia, where a State Supreme Court nomination is pending. With legal observers remarking on a growing move towards the Left of Georgia’s highest court, our local stakes in that selection are very high as well.
Leftists claim that “diversity and inclusion” are requirements for legitimate governance. The Left actually despises the idea. The Left’s conveyor belt of conformity opposes broadening perspectives or backgrounds.
Were it otherwise, the Left would have hailed Barrett’s rise to the U.S. Supreme Court.
And while the Left says that they want a Supreme Court that “looks like America,” they apparently must think that everyone in American looks like they went to Harvard or Yale, and served on the federal appellate bench.
Not so much.
Phil Kent is the CEO & Publisher of InsiderAdvantage Georgia and James magazine.