I’ve seen first-hand how judges get promoted based on the color of their skin. Here in the Richmond, Virginia area. First, one of the best Judges whom I have ever appeared before was black. He was Judge Randall Johnson (now deceased), Circuit Court for the City of Richmond. But there are others who are complete jokes. There are some white judges who are jokes, as well.
Granted, it would be awkward having all lily white judges in Richmond, a city with a population that has (I think) a black majority. The problem is that white lawyers out-number black lawyers something like 75-1 (I’m guessing). And that is the pool from which come judges. So when a black judge is chosen, guess what my first reaction is? Affirmative action. That judge just happens to be the best candidate? And the last judge chosen was black, too? And just coincidentally, the few times that I appeared before some of them, they sure did not appear to be intellectual heavyweights (I’m being charitable). Likewise, there is a white female judge nearby, who judging by her ability as a judge was appointed solely because she has dirty pictures to blackmail somebody in very high places.
Perhaps I just caught each on a bad day. Perhaps each was the best individual candidate when they applied for the job. But that is the insidious problem with chosing somebody based upon solely upon the color of his or her skin. There will always be questions. Did they get elevated to this position on merit, or despite being unqualified? If they got the job via discrimination, will they feel obligated to discriminate, too? Every time that they rule in favor of a person whose skin color or sex that they share, and against someone of the opposite sex or a different color, will the losing litigant believe that they lost because of their sex or race?
Look, I’m sorry that the vast majority of lawyers and judges are white men. But that is in part due to the make up of older lawyers. Back 30-4o years ago, white males dominated the profession. Now law schools consist of a majority of females. And many persons of color are coming up the ranks, increasing the percentage of highly qualified candidates for judge.
All I am saying is choose a nominee based solely upon their qualifications. There is no way in hell that Obama did that, if what I read about the finalists is true. He was looking specifically at females. He was hoping for a female. The fact that she is a Latina is a bonus. He chose based in part upon race and sex. I’ll believe that til I die. And any reasonable person should, too. Go back and look at his alleged short-list of candidates. Discrimination is bad. Period.