Supreme Court Justice David Souter has announced his retirement from the court and the fallout has been what one would expect.
The media can’t stop talking about it, mentioning possible nominees for the opening, giving us blow-by-blow histories of SCOTUS decisions and which judges expressed which opinions on each, Souter’s record, and even biographies, as though we were meeting him for the first time.
The Republicans are denigrating the still-unnamed nominee as too liberal, unworthy, a presidential yes-man or -woman, a judicial activist, etc. It doesn’t matter who ends up being the nominee; it only matters that the nominee will be named by a Democratic president.
The Democrats are saying the nominee must be a woman, a minority, a liberal, etc.
Here we go again with the affirmative action thing. Why must the nominee be any of these things? There are only nine Supreme Court justices — human beings all. It is impossible to divvy them up in a way that represents every segment of our population — black, white, Hispanic, male, female, liberal, conservative. What about Swedes? Gays? Hearing-impaired? Libertarians? Redheads? Youth? Little people? High school dropouts? Veterans? Vegans?
“Affirmative action” or “quota.” Whatever terminology you prefer, in a nation as diverse as ours, the concept is ridiculous on its face. No single entity is large enough to fairly represent all of us. No school or university, no profession, no political party.
And certainly not a group of only nine people.