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New Supreme Court Nominee - race and/or gender specific?

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by FrankieTDouglas, May 1, 2009.

  1. macrumors 65816

    How do you feel about one of the focal points concerning the new Supreme Court nominee is not work qualifications at the forefront, but instead gender and race as utmost importance for consideration to replace David Souter? Obama has not made any reference to whom he might choose as a replacement, but this NY Times article in addition to a few other outlets seem focused on the sex/race as primary considerations.

    I do not care if it's a man or woman, white, black, Asian, hispanic, Indian, ..... I just hope the person is not a dominant left or right leaning individual. But why must each candidates' skin and gender credentials be given after they are identified in this article?

  2. macrumors Core


    It is a good question, I think he should pick the best person for the job. If that turns out to be a woman fine. The highest court is not the place to be playing the gender/race card.
  3. macrumors Penryn


    Why don't we let him make a nomination before we speculate about this. It's not like he's going to nominate Harriet Miers.
  4. macrumors 68030


    Preemptive racism? The Bush doctrine set some interesting precedents.
  5. macrumors 6502a


    Agreed. Good thing we didn't approach the presidency that way, too...can you imagine electing somebody with virtually no experience or track record, just because of a pretty (black) face? Oh wait...:eek:
  6. macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    Time for a transgender justice of indeterminate race ...
  7. macrumors 68040


    Do we really need a separate thread for this? Can this not be discussed in the context of the already-existing SCOTUS thread?
  8. macrumors 68030


    I think its going to be a disabled black white mexican female who's gay
  9. macrumors 6502a


    With so many qualified woman to choose from - far more than in the O'Coner days - I would look there. The family portrait of the Supreme Court justices is not a family portrait of America.
  10. macrumors 603


    Here's a better question: is the family portrait of the Supreme Court justices similar to a family portrait of judges qualified to be justices?

    I don't disagree that there are probably some well-qualified women, or minorities, or both, in the pool of potential justices; but to focus on that before focusing on experience or qualifications does scream something akin to reverse discrimination to me.
  11. macrumors 68040


    I suspect the process will be the opposite. A pool of well-qualified candidates will be identified, with Obama selecting his choice from that pool.

    I would hope you don't think that Harriet Miers was the most qualified person in the nation for the court at the time she was selected?
  12. macrumors 603


    When I first heard her name, I had never heard of her before. The more I learned about her, the more I wondered why she was even considered for the job. I wasn't anywhere close to heartbroken when I learned she withdrew her name from consideration.
  13. Ugg
    macrumors 68000


    What you're implying is that almost a century and a half after the civil war and 89 years after women were granted the right to vote, that in the vast pool of judges out there, the best are white, anglo saxon, males.

    If that's the case, then why? Do we need to wait another 150 years before we have another ethnic minority? another 89 years before there are two women on the bench?
  14. macrumors 603


    No, you're incorrectly inferring that. What I'm saying is that there seems to be more wisdom in placing emphasis first on a candidate's qualifications rather than on gender or race. There's nothing whatsoever in my post that suggests that any candidate is any more or less qualified because of gender or race.

    We've had ethnic minorities and women on the bench in the past, and we do now. I don't have a problem with having any more. Today we have justices Ginsberg and Thomas on the court, and even though they're just about polar opposites in terms of politics, they are both (in my opinion) well-qualified and well-suited to the job. Those feelings of mine have absolutely nothing to do with their being female or an ethnic minority, respectively. As far as I'm concerned, that's completely irrelevant.

    You seem to have missed this in my previous post, but I'll spell it out plainly here: I'm not the least bit concerned with a justice's race or gender. That's right; I don't care in the slightest. I do care about who has the background to do a good job. My statement is that the person's qualifications - education, experience, however you want to describe it - is more important than the person's race or gender.
  15. Ugg
    macrumors 68000


    Let me put it this way. I find it absolutely impossible to believe that there are only a handful of qualified judges out there. There are certainly dozens if not hundreds of judges who would be a perfectly good choice.

    Given that the judges Obama will be making his pick from are baby boomers, in other words, judges who had the benefits of the civil rights movement, the women's movement and a generally enlightened society or at least a less talibanistic society than preceded it. He'll have plenty of women, blacks, latinos, gays, and for that matter, even heterosexual anglo saxon white guys to choose from. If that's the case and he is given 3 equally qualified judges to choose from and chooses the woman over the men, simply because she's a woman, is there anything wrong with that? I certainly don't think so.

    It's time to stop thinking about discrimination and more about a government that reflects the general population.
  16. macrumors 65816

    If that's the case and he is given 3 equally qualified judges to choose from and chooses the man over the women, simply because he's a man, is there anything wrong with that? I certainly don't think so.

  17. macrumors 603


    I changed the emphasis, but not the wording. It reads very differently to me now.

    This is a good point, but not really different from Ugg's - just the other way around.

    I do understand both of your points - if there really are several candidates who are equally qualified, then choose away. Pick the one you think might be on the court longer, pick the one whose political leanings are more like your own, whatever. I don't see a problem with that.
  18. macrumors 65816

    I really have no preference on it needing to be a man or woman, or which race the person will be. I'm just pointing out the oddness of using gender (or race, or height, or weight, or...) to be the deciding factor when it's nothing to do with visual appearance and all to do with intelligence.

    If someone fights oppression with oppression, they become the system they fight against.
  19. Guest


    I don't want a black person to be nominated, nor a white person, nor a woman or a man or a Jewish or a Christian or a Buddhist. I want a competent, qualified individual to be nominated and approved.

    Anything else that person happens to be is a secondary (or even tertiary) characteristic and is fundamentally irrelevant.

    As far as factors I think should be determining ones (though I guarantee Obama will not agree) are the person should be a strict Founding Fathers constitutionalist. I don't want an interpretative or constructionist or "new wave" or neo-con person. The Constitution is there for a reason, and while maybe some will laugh, I want the d*mn thing upheld above all else at all costs.

    It is also not the Supreme Court's area of authority or right to legislate from the bench. They need to decide whether something is in agreement with the Constitution and statutes. Either it is or it isn't. Strike down B.S. laws that are unconstitutional, but for goodness sake we don't need them writing the law! (That's what Separation of Powers is all about.)
  20. Ugg
    macrumors 68000


    You must live in some parallel universe. Supreme Court nominations have always been based upon all the things you've just petulantly stated that you don't want.

    Stating that gender or ethnic background or religion is irrelevant is irrelevant.

    Anyone who believes a competent Supreme Court is made up of deaf, dumb, blind and mute judges is simply ignoring the fact that the court is made up of human beings, appointed by human beings and approved by human beings.

    Rather than striving for some sort of science fiction type world, why don't we make an effort to ensure our government reflects the general population?
  21. macrumors 603


    For the same reason many other professions don't reflect the general population - there's no fundamental reason why it needs to. If it happens to, that's great.

    Are you advocating that a certain percentage of senators and congressmen should be uneducated folk from urban inner cities, while a handful of others are bluebloods? Or are you suggesting that a certain number need to be convicted felons or illegal immigrants? And that a certain number must represent each religion? Because that is also our general population.

    Nobody really seems to mind that the pool of elementary school teachers and nurses skew female; or that engineers and construction workers skew male; or that hockey players skew white and basketball players skew black. Why do these professions not reflect the general population? My answer to that is, "who cares? As long as the people doing the job are qualified to do so."

    If the pool of qualified judges in the country reflects the general population, then your wish makes sense. I don't think anybody here or anywhere else will knock that. I don't have any statistics on this at all, but if the profession happens to draw a very large majority of white males (and I don't know that it does), then that could explain why the court would be made up mostly of white males. If the profession draws upon the general population evenly, then your point is well-taken.
  22. Moderator emeritus


    We do. Through the election, people elect who they want to represent them. The SCOTUS is not a representative body of the people, it serves only to represent the Constitution.
  23. Guest


    Well, there goes any chance for a serious discussion. *sigh*

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