In a front page story in the Washington Post today, Alliance for Justice President Nan Aron, among others, discusses the progress made toward a more diverse judiciary under President Obama. The story also included Coalition for Justice President Curt Levey’s shameful insinuation that the Administration might have “a lower threshold of qualifications for minorities.” Not only does Levey’s sentiment mirror Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia’s notorious “racial entitlement” language last week in the Voting Rights Act oral argument, it is outright false.
Each and every federal court nominee put forward under President Obama – whether a white male or an African-American woman – has been rated qualified or well-qualified to serve as a federal judge by the American Bar Association. And rather than facing a “lower threshold,” a study by University of Rochester professor Maya Sen shows that the ABA systematically holds women and minorities to a higher standard than white men. In other words, with all other objective qualifications equal, the ABA has given harsher ratings to women and minorities than to their otherwise identical white male counterparts.
The facts clearly reflect that President Obama’s movement toward a judiciary that more closely resembles America has brought both diverse and exceptional nominees to a Senate which has delayed far too long in confirming them. Levey’s insulting accusation is an affront to the nominees, to the president, and to the American people, who have long since moved past these sorts of racial canards.
Read more about President Obama’s federal court nominees and impact on the judiciary.