Letters to the editor Feb. 10
Supreme Court nominees
The recent letter to the editor by Charles Garner opposing the nomination of even a highly qualified Black female jurist to the U.S. Supreme Court reminds me of the adage that most people use statistics like a drunk uses a lamppost. I guess it should be revised to say some people also use statistics to hide their own prejudices, misogyny, and white fragility.
While the original concept for the Supreme Court was to interpret the law rather than reflect “We the People,” I’m willing to play Mr. Garner’s statistical game. Since 1789, 137 Supreme Court justices have been appointed.
Using Mr. Garner’s logic:
Black women account for 7% of the U.S. population. Therefore, the number of Black women who should have served on the Supreme Court justices since the founding of our Constitution ought to have been 10, not zero.
Blacks make up 14% of population. Hence, we should have had 19 Black justices over the last 233 years, not just two.
Native Americans, who make up 3% of the U.S. population, should have been represented by at least four Native American justices, not zero.
Nine Asian Americans should have been on the court instead of zero.
And finally, 69 women should have served on the court instead of five.
The sad truth is the U.S. Supreme Court has never reflected “We the People;” instead, it has represented the interests of the white, male population. As a result, it took a Civil War to free Blacks from slavery, not the Supreme Court. A constitutional amendment was required to give women the right to vote, not the Supreme Court. Two different acts of Congress were needed to give citizenship to Native Americans and Chinese, not the Supreme Court.
Perhaps, if we had had a more diverse court over the years, these unconscionable inequities would have been rectified earlier.
While Biden’s announcement may have been clumsy, he is only following the precedent by earlier presidents who announced they were looking for non-white males to fill a vacancy, beginning with Johnson’s search for a Black nominee (Thurgood Marshall) in 1967; Reagan’s desire for a woman nominee (Sandra Day O’Connor) in 1981; and Reagan’s search for an ethnic nominee (Antonin Scalia) in 1986.
As with these earlier non-white or non-male nominees, the Black women currently under consideration are eminently qualified.
— Lana Batts, Lakeside