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Issues in Government

Dear OTA,

In recent years I know there has been a push to make the federal courts more diverse.

This is hard to fathom, and I would like someone's opinion regading this possbility.

I know that President Obama is attempting to promote this radification, so what are some of the factors that he should consider as he presents his nominations for Senate confirmation?

To the best of my knowledge, women are the majority of the nation's population, How would this effect the seats on the Supreme Court?

I am also wondering if perhaps there be an age requirement for the Supreme Court justices to retire?


aspiring anthropologist who doesn't understand government very well...but wants to!

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Dear Student:

The Brennan Center for Justice at NYU has many resources on this set of issues.
One issue is that the state courts, for example, whether promoted by merit or election, see more whites and men than any other group elected or appointed.
"White" here, it should be noted, also includes Jews. It does not include Hispanics.

The only way to fathom it would be to have some sort of affirmative action policy that would force both voters, governors and state Senates to advance candidates for the judiciary based on their race and gender.

The assumptions here are:
1. That race determines sensitivity to racial issues.
2. That non-whites would be more sensitive to non-white issues.
3. That women will be more sensitive to "female" issues. (And that idea itself is controversial)
4. That selection processes (and even elections) are inherently biased.
5. That race and gender "bias" whether proven or not, has anything to do with the jurisdiction and function of the judiciary at any level.
6. That whites are inherently ...

Solution Summary

The solution provides assistance to the student to come to understand the concept of Senate confirmation and gender representation in the Supreme Court. Resources are listed for further exploration of the topic. A word version of the solution is also attached.