Thursday, October 13, 2016

Black women at the lectern

Last week's Mother Jones ran an article titled A Black Woman is Arguing a Big Supreme Court Case Today. That Shouldn't Be Unusual. But It Is. Using last Wednesday's Buck v. Davis argument (by NAACP Legal Defense Fund litigation director Christina Swarns) as a springboard, the article outlines how the SCOTUS bar is "largely white and male," and does some digging to conclude that "the number of African-American female lawyers who've ever made a Supreme Court oral argument is shockingly small--almost small enough to count on two hands." The article also notes:
For a few years, Leondra Kruger helped diversify the Supreme Court bar when she was working for the US Solicitor General's office, where she argued 12 Supreme Court cases between 2007 and 2013. But in 2014, California Governor Jerry Brown (D) appointed her to the California Supreme Court, and no black woman seems to have argued a case before the high court since.