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May 13th, 2009
05:52 PM ET

Does it matter if next Supreme Court justice is a woman or minority?

ALT TEXT

Ruth Bader Ginsburg is currently the only female Supreme Court Justice. (PHOTO CREDIT: MARK WILSON/GETTY IMAGES)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

When it comes to nominating the next Supreme Court justice, President Obama is likely under pressure from interest groups, lawmakers, you name it...

But it turns out Most Americans aren't too concerned about the gender, race or ethnicity of the person who will fill Justice David Souter's seat on the bench.

A new Gallup poll shows 64 percent of those polled say it doesn't matter to them if the next Supreme Court justice is a woman. 68 percent don't care if that person is Hispanic; and 74 percent say it doesn't matter if the next justice is black.

It's widely expected that President Obama will nominate a woman. Currently the Court only includes one female justice, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who has been battling cancer. Yet only six percent of Americans say it's essential that the president appoint a woman.

The poll shows women are more likely than men to feel that gender matters; but not by as large a margin as might be expected. And even a majority of women say it doesn't matter to them. There are also partisan differences - with more Democrats, than Republicans or Independents, saying it's essential or a good idea that the next justice be a woman. But again, a majority of all three groups say it just doesn't matter.

Here’s my question to you: How much does it matter to you if the next Supreme Court justice is a woman or minority?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Joan from Orange County, California writes:
The next Supreme Court justice appointed could be on the bench for 30-40 years. Criteria for selecting a nominee should be intellect, judgment, independence and open-mindedness. Our county is best served by Supremes who do NOT have a political agenda!

Lee from Dallas writes:
The fact is it matters a great deal. Having a bench with the overwhelming majority being comprised of white men is not even close to a true representation of the diversity of America.

Melissa writes:
No. Look what happened to the Republican Party. They chose that weakling Steele as their leader even though he's obviously not qualified and not able to control himself. I'd rather they chose the best person for the job, no matter what their sex or the color of their skin.

Peter writes:
Yes, Jack, it does. The Supreme Court has been so out-of-touch, stale and conservative; it is like a foreign entity to Americans. A woman, especially if she is a member of one of the minority groups, would be great. Such a nominee will bring this institution back in line with real America. No use for another conservative, old, white man.

Gerry from Toronto writes:
The president should appoint a gay, female, minority judge just so the conservatives can have another meltdown.

Shelba writes:
It doesn't matter to me what sex, color or creed the new Supreme Court justice is as long as that person knows and is dedicated to the Constitution of this country and does not try to rewrite it to political/social influences of the moment.

We have had enough of that already.

Matt writes:
It doesn't matter much to me. But I'll bet that in order to satisfy everybody, Obama will have to find a homosexual, black/Chinese woman with a surname like "Sanchez."


Filed under: Supreme Court
soundoff (231 Responses)
  1. Rachel

    I would prefer the next justice to be a woman but my heart will not be broken if it is not. I hope they have well rounded knowledge of the law/constitution and the concerns of Americans today. Most of all I hope the choice annoys republicans. I know that sounds silly but I love it when they are upset and go on these rants that only cause them to lose more members.

    Rachel
    Liberal, KS

    May 13, 2009 at 1:34 pm |
  2. JS

    It needs to be a woman or a minority or both, poor Ginsburg, she needs another womans point of view. Anyway we women don't want a bunch of old white men telling us what we can and cannot do with our bodies.
    Joan North Carolina

    May 13, 2009 at 3:54 pm |
  3. Jay in Texas

    It doesn't matter a bit to me as long as the next nominee is a gay person.
    Brownwood, Texas

    May 13, 2009 at 3:55 pm |
  4. cat

    All he/she need to have is the wisdom of solomon he /she would make a great Justice. We need new laws that are fair to everyone.

    May 13, 2009 at 3:56 pm |
  5. Diane Dagenais Turbide

    Hi Jack,

    it should no matter since more women are now studying and graduating from law school!

    May 13, 2009 at 3:57 pm |
  6. Justo Gonzalez

    It matters to me. As a Latino male, I want to see the diversity of this country represented in the Highest court of the nation. What does it say about us as a country when the Supreme Court becomes an "old boys club" where a token black and female are only allowed one at a time? The country needs excellent judges and unlike some, I believe that they come in all colors, races, genders, sexual orientation, beliefs systems, creeds and values. No to an America that says you must be white and male to have a seat on the Supreme Court. This nomination should be a woman of color who has the credentials to serve all of our values and who models over 50% of our population.

    May 13, 2009 at 3:58 pm |
  7. Harvey

    I don't care what gender, race, religion or age the next justice is. My main concern is that she or he understands that the Constitution of the United States is there to protect the people, human people, against the government. It is the safety and welfare of the people that must be the main concern of every member of the judiciary, legislative and executive branches. Only in the most dire circumstances should the interests of the government be place above the interests and rights of the people.

    May 13, 2009 at 3:59 pm |
  8. Susan Retten

    Yes, it matters that the next Supreme Court Justice be a woman, Hispanic or black–not another white male. One of the principles of authentic justice is that it be dispensed by peers–that means people who are equal to those they are judging, and representative of the society they are acting for. Women see the world differently from men because of their different cultural background. To put it another way, girls are raised differently, taught differently, even in this age of supposed equality, and a woman's perspective is valuable in any discussion of law and public policy. The same goes for people from Latino and black cultures. American politics has been and still is dominated by white males, and balance should be restored, one step at a time.

    May 13, 2009 at 4:01 pm |
  9. John .... marlton, nj

    How about a black woman of mexican decent that was disabled in Iraq, that's five check marks.

    May 13, 2009 at 4:03 pm |
  10. Linda in Arizona

    It would be nice it he picked a woman, but it's not the first criterion in my mind. I want the most qualified person, and I want a liberal-leaning justice. Race, gender, ethnicity are not crucial.

    May 13, 2009 at 4:08 pm |
  11. Laura, Boston

    Jack:

    I say to you gentlemen at CNN that since the majority of voters in this country are women, it would seem logical that we have a woman who shares our views become our next justice.

    Ruth Ginsberg is there but the question remains for how long? Remember that crack in the ceiling Jack?

    May 13, 2009 at 4:09 pm |
  12. Diane Dagenais Turbide

    Hi Jack,

    it should not matter since more women are now studying and graduating from law school!

    May 13, 2009 at 4:09 pm |
  13. dave

    Jack,
    No it don't, but it would be nice to see a Hispanic woman in there. That large segment of our population isn't represented.

    May 13, 2009 at 4:09 pm |
  14. Alveta, Maryland

    It matters to me for it to be diversity in the Justice System Jack, and as long as they are qualified to do the job.

    May 13, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  15. Jennifer

    Look at all those old white men! Of coures it matters!! Look around you? Are there only old white guys? Do the people in the picture repesent Old White Guys or do they represent a cross section of America? The Supreme Court is the People's Court and should reflect ALL THE PEOPLE!

    May 13, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  16. Karen - Missouri

    All I care about is the person is smart and an expert on the constitution and have PEOPLE skills.

    May 13, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  17. Michael Sullivan from Lafayette, California

    Jack - It would be great to have a woman or Hispanic as the next Supreme Court justice, but here are the most important questions: "Is he or she qualified to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court," and does he or she
    possess the necessary courage, integrity, and ability to see various sides of the issue at hand to make a wise and impartial decision?"

    May 13, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  18. Michael McDowell

    It isn't about race or gender, it is about a Supreme Court nominee that takes to heart the fundamentals of civil rights for all Americans. Making race or gender the only or main consideration, will cheat those from receiving justice who do not fit into the right mold. We have enough clowns on the Court who already cater to certain special interests. Remember the phrase "Liberty and Justice for ALL!!

    May 13, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  19. BRUCE, ST PAUL, MN

    A gay Hispanic woman would be great, but basically I just want someone who is not a corporate bobo. If the Wall Street Journal opposes the nominee, I will support her enthusiastically.

    May 13, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  20. Brad Bryan

    Jack,

    I want a towering legal mind. Whether he or she is black or Hispanic or {gasp} white is unimportant. Because these nine robes are unelected, Americans tend to cry "counter-majoritarian"! But their job is not to represent us, but to interpret the law. As an interpreter, their gender and ethnic background seems irrelevant to me.

    May 13, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  21. Jim, from Las Vegas

    What matters to me is that we get a Justice who understands that the Bill of Rights is the single most important guarantee we as citizens enjoy and that weaking any of those ammendments weakens the entire structure of the Constitution. I want a Justice who won't give my rights away or who isn't pre-disposed to any particular special interest.

    May 13, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  22. John in Columbus Ohio

    1 women, 8 men.

    Yeah, it matters. Get a girl on there. It's not even remotely fair.

    May 13, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  23. HL

    Woman or minority doesn’t matter to me. I want someone young, from elected office or academia. Preferably someone who can read the Second Amendment without the NRA’s influence, who can balance liberty and equality, someone who understands that the primary force of law and source of power lies within the people whom the Constitution was intended to serve – not individual interests, or the corporations, or the parties, or the President, or Congress, or the courts.

    May 13, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  24. Jamal Saint Petersburg, FL

    Not much, but to be safe it would be better if they were. I don't expect the status quo to fully understand the plight of minorities, and if there was a woman...well then we will just have a women. The feminist movement was successful, we already had female justices, and there really aren't any legal issues facing women as a whole. So if I had to pick one or the other, maybe a minority female would be best.

    May 13, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  25. Mark in OKC

    What matters is that we get someone who does NOT come to the High Court with an AGENDA! I don't think the American people care if it is a woman, a man, gay, straight, white, black, hispanic, asian, or even a southerner as long as they can "fairly" decide the issues brought before them. I want the President to nominate Miss California, you know, just to liven up the news cycle!

    May 13, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  26. Adam Thousand Oaks, CA

    What? Do we have to have affirmative action on the high court now? Black? Hispanic? White? Man? Woman? None of this superficial nonsense matters. What about someone who is handicapped? I don't see anyone in a wheelchair on the bench. What about geography? Don't we need someone from the Midwest to balance it culturally? Most Americans know that we need The Best Person for the Job. Period. Pick someone with a good track record that shows they really know the law. It could be an appellate judge, an attorney general, a defense attorney, or a district attorney, whatever. They need to show that they can interpret the law and not legislate from the bench.

    May 13, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  27. Johnson

    Doesn't matter. It's really sad that he just doesn't nominate who is best qualified.

    May 13, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  28. Roy - Chicago

    I believe it does matter for the perception that all groups in this country are being represented at the highest level of government, so a woman or minority appointment would be great for political capital.
    However, within that context, I think it is currently much more important to appoint someone who will keep the balance of power in the Supreme Court, most notably someone who will defend women's rights and the separation of church and state in this country.

    May 13, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  29. ingrid, new york

    it does matter, it would have a huge impact on people if the next justice was a black woman, or a hispanic woman, or a hispanic man, or a native american man, or an asian american, or (ready for this) a muslim arab american or even a christian arab american, or a homosexual, or a transgendered person.... it always always matters to the people and to the children coming up when the institutions leading and governing this country actually reflect the make-up of this country (it mattered when a jew, or an italian, or a catholic sat on the court as well). that being said, the person also has to be the best of the best as well regardless.

    May 13, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  30. Leslie

    It matters because the nations highest court should look like the american people not just one group of us

    May 13, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  31. Dan from Alliance, OH

    No, but I would hope we can get an Hispanic which would start to give the court a better mix like our country.

    May 13, 2009 at 4:30 pm |
  32. Fran, Brimley, Michigan

    I think it is imperative that a woman is appointed to the Highest Court in the nation..With Justice Sandra Day O'Connor retiring, and Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg fighting cancer, I would hate to see the Supreme Court return to "The Good Old Boys Club"!!! Who better to understand woman's needs than another woman!!!

    May 13, 2009 at 4:31 pm |
  33. Bill in Clifton Forge, Virginia

    Yes, it does, because quite a few of our fellow citizens actually are women and minorities. And BTW, some might not even be Christians! Hey Eric Cantor and Mitch McConnel - hello? Hello?

    May 13, 2009 at 4:33 pm |
  34. Janice From Delaware

    I think our Supreme Court needs to be balanced and reflect the population it serves. I project that Hilliary Clinton will be named and Governor Richardson will eventually be named to replace her at the State Dept.

    May 13, 2009 at 4:34 pm |
  35. Ed from Tallahassee Florida

    Yes it does, but only if they actually represent the minority they are apart of. Yes, I am calling out Thomas.

    May 13, 2009 at 4:35 pm |
  36. Ralph Nelson

    Yes, it sure does. They are 51% of the population. Having a Hispanic on there with 31% of the population seems fair too. Next time we can pick some old white guy. Ralph, Yakima, Wa.

    May 13, 2009 at 4:35 pm |
  37. Bob in Baltimore

    As long as it isn't another Right Wing Fanatic who cares? I like the guy who finally hung OJ. He should be in consideration big time.

    May 13, 2009 at 4:37 pm |
  38. Jason, Koloa, HI

    We have a black president, of course it does not matter anymore. It's not about the race or gender of the justice chosen, it's about whether they are committed to making decisions that result in justice for the parties involved. That being said, I believe it will be a woman if Obama ends up caving to interest groups. They are the majority of the population, and the democratic party, and are underrepresented on the Supreme Court.

    May 13, 2009 at 4:37 pm |
  39. kaydevo

    Look at the overwhelmingly white male court. Not a real representation of the US population. That's a problem when these guys are deciding the rule of law for the entire country. I hope the new justice is female, and a female, Hispanic justice would be even better.

    May 13, 2009 at 4:37 pm |
  40. Allen in Hartwell GA

    Jack, as a white, middle-aged male I don't trust my peers to make wise decisions for the whole mixed-up population we have in the US. I'm tired of the idea that only old white guys make good judges. This is everybody's judicial system we're talking about. We need diversity on the court.

    May 13, 2009 at 4:38 pm |
  41. Nancy, Tennessee

    The United States has been calling on leaders of other countries to recognize women and give them equal rights. Now it is time for President Obama to select a woman for the Supreme Court which is currently predominately white men. Obama said that Hillary had opened the door for women in many areas and showed his girls that they can be anything they want to be. It's time to stop talking the talk and walk the walk. Another woman is needed on the Supreme Court.

    May 13, 2009 at 4:38 pm |
  42. Norah, Ocala, FL

    Clearly, there is waaaay too much testosterone at play here. Some estrogen is definitely needed.

    Norah
    Ocala, FL

    May 13, 2009 at 4:40 pm |
  43. Ray from Nashville

    I don't care one bit. The next Supreme Court justice should know the constitution and have the good sense to be able to review cases and make judgements based on what's best for America. Race and/or gender don't matter.

    May 13, 2009 at 4:40 pm |
  44. shirley

    Jack,
    I really hope it would be a woman. I don't care if she has pink stripes and barks like a dog...... as long as she's a WOMAN!!!

    May 13, 2009 at 4:40 pm |
  45. Kathy in Chicago

    It matters a lot to me Jack, white men have been running things for far too long. We need different perspectives on the supreme court. We all voted for change and the supreme court needs it more than any other government body out there. I don't know why conservatives get all up in arms over this stuff, there are plenty of conservative women and minorities out there. We all want to be represented in our government and when I look at the supreme court I don't feel represented at all.

    May 13, 2009 at 4:44 pm |
  46. Brandon (from PA)

    Jack,

    I would say so. Look at the picture posted with this blog. Do you think the justices look representative of our country?

    May 13, 2009 at 4:46 pm |
  47. Dennis North Carolina

    a woman would be great and a Latino or Asian nationality would be a plus.

    May 13, 2009 at 4:46 pm |
  48. Mila, U.K

    You know Jack, I'm sick of this representation thing...I don't care about the genital or colour contents of someone's character, CHARACTER jack, that is what should count. It is frustrasting that everytime there is a vacancy on a government position, there go the blakcs, hispanics, and women for God's sake...I just would like to know who best represents a woman's perspective Sarah Palin or Barack Obama?

    May 13, 2009 at 4:46 pm |
  49. Bob D, Morrisown, NJ

    Yes Jack it matters. White christian males do not have a monopoly on understanding the constitution, and our elected and selected officials should represent the breadth of attitudes and opinions of the electorate. These are ofttimes reflected in the gender and ethnicity (besides Justice Thomas) of the justices who are supposed to be objective and above such parochial interests

    We have seen the abuse possible when the republican court usurped the constitutionally allocated states' province over elections in 2000. A court that reflected the true sentiment of the electorate, or abided by the constitution, would have refused to hear that landmark case. So while gender, ethnicity, party affiliation and other characteristics shouldn't matter in justice of selection; the fact is it does.

    May 13, 2009 at 4:48 pm |
  50. Amanda Mauldin

    I do think that it matters... we need a diverse supreme court panel so that they may judge the situations of a diverse America. We should not let race and sexual gender discrimination be able to have any effect on the decision to hire any one, let alone one fo the most important jobs in "the land."

    May 13, 2009 at 4:49 pm |
  51. Dick in Minnesota

    It does not matter to me whatsoever.

    May 13, 2009 at 4:49 pm |
  52. Scott Stodden

    Jack, it does'nt matter who it is white, black, hispanic, man or woman. It would be very interesting to appoint a Hispanic man or woman or a black women, that would be very interesting since its never happend. I believe President Obama will appoint the best most qualified person, I dont think he's worried about sex, gender, race, or whatever else, maybe he'll appoint a gay justice

    May 13, 2009 at 4:55 pm |
  53. DON IN WESTPORT, MASS.

    Don't care if judge Judy gets that job. As a matter of fact I think I like that idea. She already has a shoe in. She is a TV celebrity.

    May 13, 2009 at 4:57 pm |
  54. Bert K. in L.A.

    It could not matter more! Five votes on the Supreme Court is all it takes to say what the law is. The only way for the law to reflect a view from woman and minorities is to have woman and minorities holding seats on the high court.

    May 13, 2009 at 5:00 pm |
  55. SHIRLEY-OHIO

    It matters somewhat, but not much to me, but your picture speaks for itself, you have one black man, one woman and seven white men.

    May 13, 2009 at 5:01 pm |
  56. Nathaniel Witten

    The ethnic breakdown of our Supreme Court justices aren't even close to that of America. On the contrary, it reflects the division of power that's dominated by white males. President Obama needs nominate a woman and/or minority in order to diversify the SCOTUS. Since people of color will no longer be a minority by the year 2050, we have a lot of catching up to do.

    May 13, 2009 at 5:02 pm |
  57. SHARON: Anchorage, Alaska

    I'm caucasion & a woman. Race & sex is not supposed to matter, with utmost qualifications being of prime consideration. Though personally, in my opinion, the Supreme Court needs to have more women & minorities. President Obama needs to vet the best candidates & hope that one of the top two falls into that category.

    May 13, 2009 at 5:03 pm |
  58. Martin of Alabama

    What matters is, if they are qualified ,not a woman or an black or Mexican..,Maybe we need a muslim then we could slap our wives for spending money Too bad we can't just settle on the most qualified for the JOB.

    May 13, 2009 at 5:04 pm |
  59. Elisabeth, Bloomington, IN

    It is very important that the Supreme Court more accurately reflect the make-up of the divirse nation. I expect it to be along time before it becomes 50-50 woman-man and 40% minority, but we must start now. The idea that we go with the most qualified, well many are qualified, and a black or woman is needed this cycle.

    May 13, 2009 at 5:04 pm |
  60. Annie, Atlanta

    A lot, actually. Letting the majority old white boy's club control everything hasn't worked out very well for us, so far. I'm hoping for a minority woman, personally.

    May 13, 2009 at 5:04 pm |
  61. mike adkins,charlotte,nc

    It really doesn't matter much as long as the appointment makes sense.

    May 13, 2009 at 5:05 pm |
  62. John from Long Island

    Jack, if they are qualified, dedicated and honest I don't care if they are purple with green hair.

    May 13, 2009 at 5:05 pm |
  63. Ian minneapolis, MN

    I don't think it matters at all jack. All I care about is if the next appointee goes into session without his mind already made up. I want the next justice to be able to make informed decisions on facts and results, not personal interests, political ambition, or party lines. I just hope Obama can make the right decision, not just what the people expect of him.

    May 13, 2009 at 5:06 pm |
  64. Andy in Vancouver, BC

    Yes and no. Like any job, I would hope that qualifications matter and that race, ethnicity, etc. don't. That being said, we live in a diverse country, and many branches of our government don't reflect it. It is time we did something about that.

    May 13, 2009 at 5:08 pm |
  65. Anne

    Absolutely it does! These folks sit on this court for a very, very long time. Historically, what percentage of these folks have not been white men (recognizing that many of these white men have rendered brave, intelligent and well reasoned holdings)? <1%? The Court should represent a cross section of our diverse society. They make decisions that impact our lives in very long-lasting, profound ways. Diversity of background will make those decisions even more well reasoned. There are many, many highly intelligent minorities and/or women who qualify for the job.

    May 13, 2009 at 5:08 pm |
  66. Ralph Spyer chicago Il

    No ,how the best person for the job for a change.

    May 13, 2009 at 5:09 pm |
  67. Missy

    Of course it should not matter if a supreme court justice is a man, woman or minority. Political affiliation shouldn't matter either. All that should matter is an unbiased mind and a commitment to uphold the constitution. That said, yes, it is nice to have a diverse court, but one's race and gender should not be an issue in choosing a justice.

    Missy M. Phoenix

    May 13, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  68. Sachmo Martinez

    Sure it does jack. When you have a bunch of old white guys making decisions you only get one view. Thiers. The supreme court should be diversified.

    May 13, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  69. David A Whitaker

    Yes Jack it does matter lets break up the good old boy network. You see what with got with that Clarence Thomas, I am a African American but we could have done without him.

    David
    Martinsburg, WV

    May 13, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  70. Anthony......NJ

    Jack, I'll take Joan Rivers over the likes of the Republican picks: The Siamese twins Scalia and Williams who love the rush of being totally contrary and the great tandem of Alito and Roberts who loyally vote with the twins. This an obvious bloc and anyone selected to help smash it would keep the court balanced and our freedoms protected.

    May 13, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  71. David P. Vernon

    Tucson, AZ – In one sense yes, but in the sense that really matters Constitutionally, no. The popularity of the President will be affected, at least briefly, by the demographic characteristics of the Supreme Court nominee. That effect will pass, and is unlikely to be the key factor is the following Federal elections. What does matter is whether the nominee truly supports equal protection under the law, which is the basis for all of the so-called liberal so-called judicial activism which so offends the Right Wing. The bottom lines are not where the Right wants them drawn, because one the purposes of a Supreme Court is to overthrow any tyranny of the majority which is based on religious or other prejudice. The example of Clarence Thomas proves that membership in a disadvantaged group is no guarantee of liberal judicial behavior – it is the belief system that really counts, not gender, not ancestry, and not skin color.

    May 13, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  72. Svein from Oregon

    Absolutely, just like every form of government needs a check and balances to keep all creeds and needs of Americans represented

    May 13, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  73. James in Nebraska

    Be it black, white, male, female, hermaphrodite, or Martian, it doesn’t matter. As long as they know what they are doing and are highly qualified to do it.

    May 13, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  74. Bill

    It shouldnt matter.

    You pick the best candidate for the job and block our everything else.

    Unfortunately we are now a country of appeasement, not one of success.

    May 13, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  75. Marietta

    Does not matter woman or minority period civil rights for all...obey the laws in place....government is not our God and marriage is a church issues period, ones own personal faith –gays is civil rights... Honor thy father and mother..church issue that is marriage..God said: And the two shall become "one" the mystery of the marriage...egg and sperm...that is the definition to me of marriage.
    .I am Catholic–but do not judge gays–God gave all "free will" to choose.. and God forces no one to obey or love him....we too will be judged also for we are all sinners.. We are commanded to obey, pray for all, serve all, love your enemies, spread the gospels..God did not say... Honor thy father and father or Honor thy mother and mother did he?...

    May 13, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  76. Robert B.

    From Long Island NY

    It should only matter when there's evidence of race or gender favoritism.

    May 13, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  77. ALFRED BLANDING

    It doesn't matter whether it's a woman( a woman is a minority), doesn't matter whether a minority, nor whether a man. President Obama just needs to appoint the capable candidate which I believe he will.

    May 13, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  78. D. B. Nolley

    I'd love to be able to say it doesn't matter, but I'm Black and it does matter. I'm not happy with the only psuedo-black man on the Supreme Court. Bush's pick of Uncle Rukus was both saavy and shameful. Picking a Black conservative is understandable and acceptable. Bush picked one of the few Black men in America who is actually hostile to the concerns and interests of most Blacks.

    After nearly 250 years of this experiment in democracy, we deserve a court that is truly reflective of who we are as a nation. Am I being unreasonable in asking for that?

    May 13, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  79. j/NJ

    How much does it matter to you if the next Supreme Court justice is a woman or minority?

    Gender nor ethnicity matter in the selection process, instead the society needs to be liberated from a strict constructionist ideology, however, that won't happen this time...in any event the most important gift the Obama administration can give the American people during its tenure are judicial appointees who genuinely value individual freedom and civil liberties as well as appointees who actively oppose authoritarian and intrusive government...

    May 13, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  80. TIna

    Of course it matters! Heaven forfend that we have a Court that actually represents the US....women make up half of the population...what do a bunch of old white men know about a woman's experience? Nothing, that's what.

    May 13, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  81. Jim Barnett.......Hamlin, Texas

    Jack: I would like to say that it doesn't matter concerning gender and or ethnic background, but the plain truth it does. In todays super heated political climate all things of possible sensitive nature are poised to explode, that aside the court really should reflect the face of our nation not the face of a party (Roberts).

    May 13, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  82. james sloan

    Jack, It's time we really have some diversity on the supreme court. We need to be more reflective of the community. I think first we need another woman. Too long we hid behind that "best qualified" candidate arguement. Thier are too many qualified woman and minorities to keep this up. Jim/ Phoenixville, Pa.

    May 13, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  83. Marcos Diaz

    I will like to see a woman and to be hispanic.

    May 13, 2009 at 5:28 pm |
  84. Janice

    It's not as simple as gender, but I think a woman should be picked. The equal pay ruling that caused the Ledbetter pay act to have to be passed by Congress, for instance, I don't think would have been the ruling if 3 or 4 of the court were women. I think it impacts the way the men on the court think to have to make a ruling like that in front of women that they have to deal with as equals after the case is over. Do you see a lot of men defending women for sticking up for their rights if few or no women are in the room?

    However, I would also look at the candidate's diversity of thinking and experience. I'd like to see leadership and service to the poor in some capacity either in working as a lawyer or in some other role. As we live in a society now with a shrinking middle class and very unequal power potentially in many cases, experience in having to fight the battles from the bottom up against powerful interests I think is important.

    Janice
    Aberdeen, SD

    May 13, 2009 at 5:32 pm |
  85. Roland(St George,UT)

    I'd like to see an Asian or Hispanic justice appointed. In addition to African-American, this country has a large Hispanic and Asian population. It seems fair to me that we at least attempt to have proportional representation among the Supreme Court justices. I'm not suggesting that the judgments of the current or future justices would ever be tainted or racially biased, but when I see the picture of all of the justices together...all white and one black...I think about the message it sends when we don't have a more accurate representation of our actual population base within our nation's highest judicial court. (Certainly that picture cannot look very inspiring to our nation's young school children either.)

    May 13, 2009 at 5:35 pm |
  86. Meg from Troy, Ohio

    Jack–
    As a woman, and the grandmother of minority grandchildren it matters to me. So many of the cases that come before the court deal with some kind of minority. Right now there are more than enough old white men on the court. I'm all for a woman or a minority justice.

    May 13, 2009 at 5:36 pm |
  87. Sherri- Illinois

    Absolutely Jack! The supreme court looks more like a exclusive mens clubs, 1 woman on the bench? thats shamefull. I know the next person chosen by President Obama will be female & hopefully Hispanic. He believes in diversity so I know he will make the right decision.

    May 13, 2009 at 5:41 pm |
  88. Layne Alleman

    Jack, If what we're trying to put on is a "reality" show, then yes, by all means let's appoint a minority female. Personally, I would rather see the most qualified person, whoever that may be, be appointed(unfortunately, we, as a country, tend to do the opposite). Layne A. Antioch, Il.

    May 13, 2009 at 5:44 pm |
  89. Lynn, Columbia, Mo..

    Depends on the woman or minority. Whoever it is, I hope they can shut Scalia up and vote against strip searches of children in grade schools if it ever comes up again. Maybe a gay minority woman with a progressive leaning would be ideal. This Supreme Court is just too political and conservative.

    May 13, 2009 at 5:44 pm |
  90. oz Gig Harbor WA

    What we need is a NEW Dr. Frankenstein to prepare us a Justice that is 15% Black, 12% Latino, 11% Asian, 52% Female, 10% Gay, 30% Church goer, 43% Pro Life, 8% Muslim and 3% Green.

    May 13, 2009 at 5:45 pm |
  91. Nancy from Arizona

    It doesn't matter one way or the other, but it would be nice to have another woman to begin to even out the "strict" male conglomerate. There should be a least three woman on the supreme court at all times. How about nominating Judge Judy Sheinlein?

    May 13, 2009 at 5:46 pm |
  92. Weldon from Canada

    It would be great if they filled the post with a confident individual irregardless if they are a minority or a woman. What makes you think that a white anglo-saxon male is worthy of a position if they can't handle it.

    I'm a white anlo-saxon male and I am sure there are plenty of minorities and females that should be filling more top positions than they presently are.

    If these people fill these positions then we probably wouldn't have all the problems that we have today.

    Wake up America!!!! Give the top jobs to those that are deserving and throw out the OLD PARTY LINES!!!!

    May 13, 2009 at 5:53 pm |
  93. richard morales Houston Texas

    I believe that the criteria for the next Supreme Court justice has to be their ability to be fair. Democrat, Republican, Woman or Minority should not be a consideration. The individual should be qualified and have a true grasp of the law and how it impacts every American.

    May 13, 2009 at 5:53 pm |
  94. Joan, Orange County, CA

    The next Supreme Court Justice appointed could be on the bench for 30-40 years. Criteria for selecting a nominee should be intellect, judgement, independence and open mindedness.
    Our county is best served by Supremes who do NOT have a political agenda!

    May 13, 2009 at 5:57 pm |
  95. Joan, Orange County, CA

    Supremes who do NOT have a political or personal agenda serve our county the best!

    May 13, 2009 at 5:58 pm |
  96. Donna Colorado Springs,Co

    Not really. I just don't want another conservative judge in the Supreme court that side with the religious right and ignores the rest of the country.

    May 13, 2009 at 5:59 pm |
  97. Gigi in Alabama

    The fact that the next Supreme Court justice is a woman or a minority is of no consequence to me. I want him to pick someone that will interpret the law as written . . . not try to rewrite the law.

    May 13, 2009 at 6:00 pm |
  98. Rick Medina,OH

    Jack,

    All that matters is that the next Justice to the Supreme Court is a fair, honorable, and competent judge.

    Rick, OH

    May 13, 2009 at 6:00 pm |
  99. Stephanie from Atlanta

    Yes. The Judicial Branch was created to provide balance, and level the playing field for minorities. How exactly are 8 white old men supposed to understand what it's like to be discriminated against?

    May 13, 2009 at 6:01 pm |
  100. Deborah in Blue Springs, MO

    Although it would be politically-correct to appoint a woman or minority as the next Supreme Court justice, I would rather see someone who represents a fresh perspective on key issues, such as drug law reform, gay rights, and civil liberties. Too often, the Supreme Court justices are nominated because their politics reflect those of the White House. THAT is not open-minded justice.

    May 13, 2009 at 6:01 pm |
  101. Elizabeth, Los Angeles

    I believe it matters in principle, if not in fact. President Obama's eclecticism would be reinforced, and the Court would be more (if not exactly equitably) balanced.

    May 13, 2009 at 6:01 pm |
  102. Lindsay

    Do we really need to be debating this? Why can't we just take the best for the best? I think the topic on equal rights is its own issue but when it comes to the Supreme Court, in the world of today, we need to be electing someone NOT thinking of their gender or race. We should be able to trust that the person our government elects for the Supreme Court is well-suited for their position by experience and knowledge.. not their race or gender.

    Minneapolis, MN

    May 13, 2009 at 6:04 pm |
  103. Peter M

    Yes, Jack, it does. The supreme court has been so out of touch, stale and conservative, it is like a foreign entity to Americans. A woman mostly but if she is a member of one of the minority groups will be great. Such a nominee will bring this institution back in line with real America. No use for another conservative old white man.

    May 13, 2009 at 6:06 pm |
  104. Kris, South Korea

    It really doesn't matter what gender/race the person is what I want to know is, what are their political views? Will this person bring balance to the bench and a good critical mind? A person who can look at more than what is necessary today but also what is necessary for the changing culture. I mean we change our minds and ideas all the time, laws need to keep up with that instead of hindering it.

    May 13, 2009 at 6:06 pm |
  105. Will

    Yes it does matter. For over 40 years minorities and women have been screaming for equal rights. Now we have a focusing on appointing a justice based upon gender and race. This is clearly a case of discrimination if this is what they are looking for. Just because here is a demand for a woman and a minority to be appointed there ought to be a fair look at ALL of the persons qualified for this appointment. If the federal gov't is going to support equal opportunity then it should be universal.

    May 13, 2009 at 6:06 pm |
  106. Chad from Los Angeles, CA

    Normally, i'd say take the one who is best qualified. But this has more to do with picking one that will improve the quality and complement the whole most. Picking the best individual judge may not improve the court much if we already have judges just like him on the court. The new justice must complement the others and diversify the group to better perform judgements as a whole.

    May 13, 2009 at 6:07 pm |
  107. James, Cleveland OH

    For once can we just appoint the best person for the job?

    This country is in trouble because politics and Supreme Court quotas require government appointments and contracts based on the "appropriate" mix of race, religion or sex, instead of chosing the best qualified person most interested in the job.

    May 13, 2009 at 6:07 pm |
  108. Rich

    It makes no difference to me if the next supreme court justice is black, white or pink with purple polka dots as long as they rule by the law and what is just and fair. There is no guarantee that who ever is appointed won't be prejudice or one sided regardless of race, sex or sexual preference. One justice does not make up a supreme court. It is the collective group that decides the outcome good, bad, or otherwise.

    May 13, 2009 at 6:08 pm |
  109. Buster in Poughkeepsie, NY

    It means everything to me Jack. We're like two centuries overdue for a minority woman to finally reside in our land's highest court. But why stop there? There are hordes of disenfranchised groups out there in the political fringe swarming to get a grip on the grand old gavel. President Obama would be horribly remiss if he didn't nominate a blind, deaf, autistic, quadrapalegic, amputee, red-headed, Jewish, Hispanic-surnamed African-American transexual lesbian Harvard Graduate with Lou Gehrig's disease. When nominating the next Supreme Court justice, it's time to go all the way baby!!! It's time to make our Supreme Court truly an Equal Opportunity Employer.

    May 13, 2009 at 6:08 pm |
  110. Zack Canton Michigan

    What matters is picking the right person. They need to do the right thing, not the popular. I don't care if they pick the most unpopular person out there, if its the right choice then its the right choice and what needs to be done.

    May 13, 2009 at 6:09 pm |
  111. Graham

    Jack: we should have the first Bi Racial supreme court justice, just like our first Bi Racial president.

    May 13, 2009 at 6:10 pm |
  112. Rick--Omaha

    All they have to be is qualified...man, woman, black, white, hispanic, etc......makes no difference to me......besides, isn't it against the law to seek one particular "stereotype"????

    May 13, 2009 at 6:11 pm |
  113. Joe Smith, Ft Lauderdale FL

    No, gender should not be a factor. The best qualified individual should be put forward withhout race, religion, age, sexual preference being part of the checklist.

    Joe

    May 13, 2009 at 6:11 pm |
  114. MariaElena

    Brunswick,MD

    This country is made up of more women and minorities. The court is routinely old,male,white. We need representatives who look like this country's ethnic make-up and with the experiences of themajority of this country. Stop lawyers and law teachers. (Unless it's Michelle!)

    May 13, 2009 at 6:11 pm |
  115. Matt

    It doesn't matter much to me, but I'll bet that in order to satisfy everybody, Obama will have to find a homosexual Black/Chinese woman with a surname like "Sanchez."

    May 13, 2009 at 6:12 pm |
  116. Stephen Fox

    Yes, it does matter if the next Supreme Court Justice is a woman or minority–*because* the majority is currently male and white. It's good to have diversity within the Supreme Court, , just for the differences in natural|inherent viewpoints(i.e., for that extra insight or understanding). I think it's a better reflection of America, to gain as many different perspectives as possible–especially for such an important official body.

    –Stephen Fox
    Panama City, Florida

    May 13, 2009 at 6:12 pm |
  117. pat in michigan

    yes it does matter .two points for a woman extra credit if she's a minority.If she actually knows the LAW Bingo!

    May 13, 2009 at 6:12 pm |
  118. Micah from Woodland, California

    Honestly Jack, it doesn't really matter to me at all! I mean really, while such a change in the Supreme Court wouldn't be a bad thing, there are many more pressing issues in my opinion than if the next person appointed to the Supreme Court is female or Hispanic. Aren't we fighting two wars in the Middle East? What about that global economic crisis? See my point?

    May 13, 2009 at 6:12 pm |
  119. Marguerite Sexton

    Of course diversity on the Supreme Court is important! How could anyone think otherwise? Women think differently than men. Black people, Latinos and Asians are informed by different life experiences than white people. Should not the Supreme Court look like America as it is now?

    May 13, 2009 at 6:12 pm |
  120. A.J. Asanti

    Race is starting to matter less and less because most of the minorities are brainwashed to a certain way of thinking. What will matter most is that a person is appointed who does not hold the prejudices of the past as a rule of thumb. We need someone who rules on the side of the constitution and not bias.

    May 13, 2009 at 6:12 pm |
  121. Nicole Paquette

    I am a woman who just finished her second year of law school. To me it does matter if there is a female justice. The number of the women in the profession compared to men is slim. We need more female representatives. It is pathetic that women make up half the population and yet only one woman is on the Supreme Court. Now, nearly half of all law students are women. There is no reason why the composition of the Supreme Court should not accurately reflect the increase in women in the profession. There are plenty of qualified women who should fill Souter's seat.

    May 13, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  122. Jon, Michigan

    How about we support the best qualified candidate regardless of race, ethnicity or gender. Period.

    May 13, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  123. Russell Latini

    How about a Native America Supreme Court Justice. Too Long overlooked.

    May 13, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  124. Linda

    It doesn't matter to me as long as the person act as a human being.

    May 13, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  125. Stefan

    Hayward, CA

    I think that it does matters that the president picks a woman or minority, this time. I think that the courts need to be more representative of the diversity of America. Women compose 51% of the country and there is only one out of nine justices that is a woman. Something is wrong there.

    May 13, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  126. Lois

    Jack,

    Gender, etc. are not as important to me as it is to have a Supreme Court Nominee who is centrist and not an extreme idealogue such as Scalia. It would be nice if they had read the constitution and the Bill of Rights and knew a thing or two about our history and laws.

    Is that asking too much?

    Lois, CA

    May 13, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  127. dot

    it should be a Native American!

    This country OWES them recognition and justice

    May 13, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  128. BARRY ANDERSON

    It doesn't matter what sex a judge is. It does matter what qualifications the candidate has. It is time this country stopped thinking about what sex or ethnicity would be "nice" to make us feel good. It is time we started selecting individuals for their qualification.
    Wise up America

    May 13, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  129. Sean - Denver, Colorado

    The most important thing is being "qualified" for the position. I am indifferent to race, gender, etc.

    May 13, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  130. Jim Ryan

    Jack,

    The next Supreme Court nominee should be a member of a minority that recently seems to be having a resurgence in America, but for some time has been an "endangered species"; the minority of which I speak is the Intelligent Non-partisan American who is dedicated to public service and believes in our Constitution, not our culture of news cycles and radio talk hyperbole.

    May 13, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  131. Nathan

    I think it does matter. Women make up a little more than half of the US population, so having just 1 woman on the SCOTUS clearly shows an imbalance.

    May 13, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  132. Joseph Wardy...Randolph, NJ

    What matter is the selection of a justice who seek justice and works towards that end. The idea that its a woman, man, African American or any other minority is irrelevant if the person represents what best serres the majorityof Americans!

    May 13, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  133. Cynthia Cooke

    It is of upmost importance that the nominee be a woman–this president was elected because the democrats couldn't stand the idea of a woman president. We must fight for representation! We are more than 50% of the population and of law graduates. What's the problem Here?

    May 13, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  134. Brian K. Reynolds

    Let's encourage people to appoint, hire and advance people based on content of their skills. Last time I checked, it doesn't matter what your skin or plumbing looks like.

    May 13, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  135. Sherrie Geeting, Camarillo, CA

    I have always considered myself a guerrilla moderate, having little to no respect for either right- or left-wing whackoes, although as a woman I would not find it distasteful for him to select a female nominee.

    I have much more confidence in Barack Obama's judgment of whom he would like to see on the bench than I do in anyone else's, including my own. I am completely comfortable in supporting his ultimate decision.

    May 13, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  136. Joseph Schulte

    It does matter, or it will. In the past the court has made major decisions on race and gender equality. Lately we have not seen the same number of these types of cases. Yet if there had been a female on the court earlier would women have had the right to vote earlier also. In that same respect it could be beneficial to have a justice from the gay community. Gay rights are going to become huge in the near future. Why not have a justice who lived on that side.

    May 13, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  137. Murf

    It doesn't matter to me. What I want is someone who knows the law, abides by it, without forcing his or her own political agenda.

    May 13, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  138. Rick

    Why would it matter what gender/ race a Justice is? What we need is a person who can make a fair and balenced decisions. The best person for the job.

    May 13, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  139. Martin Brown

    Jack, In keeping with current EEO guidlines, the next justice HAS to be a black woman with a Hispanic sir name, wearing the star of David suspended on a Native American chocker necklace. And she must have lost at least partial use of a limb while serving in the military in Iraq.

    May 13, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  140. George J

    Best candidate regardless of race or gender. Any other way is unamerican.

    May 13, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  141. TJ

    why does it matter?? obamas screwed on this anyway. If he picks a white male then the minorities and feminist groups will be upset. If he picks a male of mexican heritage then the feminist and other minorities will be upset. If he picks a white female then the minorities will be upset. Let obama pick whoever obama believes is the best person qualified for the position that wants the position. It's against the law to pick someone because of their race, gender or heritage anyway. oh wait....i forgot "if the president does it....then it's not against the law"

    May 13, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  142. john long Island

    Jack, Is there any chance of finding a trans gender afroasianlatino? That pretty much shoul seal the deal.

    May 13, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  143. Randy

    IT DOESN'T! It's funny that in the last 8 yrs., nobody asked the question of who bush might pick for the court as if it was a given that he was going to pick a white male. Now that there is an african amerian president, certain people want him to disregard the racial and gender makeup of the court.

    May 13, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  144. Antoin

    This is extremely important Jack, The supreme court should be representative of the population of our country because their decisions affect all of our lives. Last I checked 78% of the country was NOT made up of white males. Different perspectives make for different realities.

    May 13, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  145. Neil

    Gender or ethnic origins are not an issue for me. I think Souter is the keenest mind on the Court. It was a stroke of luck we got him. We should hope to be so lucky this time.
    It is unfortunate the White House is determined to put gender and ethnicity ahead of scholarship, experience and dedication to the rule of law. But it's how Obama got elected. The MTV President needs an MTV Justice to make a matched set. It's a real vote getter.

    May 13, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  146. Brandon D

    Why are Asian Americans always overlooked. They are poorly represented in American society.

    May 13, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  147. Madalyn Landers

    I have faith that President Obama will nominate an appropriate person to our Supreme Court. Wouldn't it be great if it were an African American WOMAN or a Hispanic WOMAN? Our Supreme Court should reflect the ethnic mix of our nation.

    May 13, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  148. Julie, Missouri

    It does't matter at all to me. I think the person right for the job should be appointed. Race, gender, religion or sexuality should not factor into it.

    May 13, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  149. Terri - Tulsa

    I don't think it has anything to do with the idea that things are seen as improved in racial or gender equality. I think that people genuinely don't care who is appointed as long as it is someone who brings a new understanding of the desires of the American people. Unfortunately, the opinions of the American people have nothing to do with the Supreme Court. That is why the justices are not elected by the people! The Supreme Court's job is to interpret a given situation based on the Constitution, and nothing else.

    May 13, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  150. Lizz, Arkansas

    It doesn't matter and it shouldn't. A Supreme Court Justice should be appointed based on their credentials, not their gender or ethnicity. I don't care what color your skin is or what you have below the waist that makes you a different gender. I care about a person's qualifications, not their physical appearance.

    May 13, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  151. Blake

    While I think choosing the most qualified candidate is key, it is also essential for the Supreme Court to have as much diversity as possible. Diversity is so important for our government to function... How could white Christian males possibly be able to speak for all the different minority groups we have?

    May 13, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  152. Sally Flynn

    I definitely think a woman should be nominated. Women often have a different perspective than men and since they are half the population they should be represented by more than one woman, the current situation. Also, the current female justice might be retiring soon due to health reasons – all the more urgent to elect a female.

    May 13, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  153. Kim in Fredericksburg

    As long as the person is qualified, and actually pays their taxes, I don't care about their sex or ethnic background.

    May 13, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  154. Karl from SF, CA

    I say it’s about time. Other than the one white female and one black guy, the makeup of the court hasn’t changed since it started over 200 years ago and the country has definitely changed over the years. It’s time for it to reflect the gender, ethnic and philosophical makeup of our nation.

    May 13, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  155. Jason

    The key issue is that the new Justice be HIGHLY qualified and unbiased. However, this is key to the court as a whole also. Diversity is necessary to maintain unbiassed decisions – decisions based on the laws and principles of our legal system, not on personal view. One benefit of a diverse court is to show this standard is being upheld. If a person of diversity (i.e. not a white male) is found among equally highly qualified individuals then it would behoove the President to consider that person with priority.

    May 13, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  156. Kathy in Lansing, Michigan

    Yes, Jack! I think that the 7 old white guys and the "rent a tom" are out of touch. I hope the President chooses a hispanic woman because her family is more likely to have their "feet on the ground" like the rest of us!!!

    May 13, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  157. Martin

    Being a certain ethnicity or gender should not have you any influence to whether or not you are nominated to the supreme court. A supreme court justice should be neutral and not sway in any other direction (even though that's not the case). The next supreme court justice should be moderate view and fit for the job.

    May 13, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  158. Sarah

    I'm 13 and I love to watch CNN to watch what is going on in the world and I think that race or gender really does not matter, but what does matter is what they think will be best for everyone and how hard it may be for the person in the courtroom. I hope that they will choose someone that will understand and I will be watching to see what is going on.

    May 13, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  159. Lee from NY

    Jack, it matters just a much to me as reading Sarah Palin's new book. I really don't care.

    May 13, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  160. miss king

    what wrong with the supreme court justice being a person of color and a woman. we need someone there with compassion. that would be a woman, no matter what race. it,s uneven anyway. only one woman. what kind of a message is that sending to young woman and men in this country?

    May 13, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  161. Mark from arizona

    does it matter if it lands on heads or tails? only if you gain by landing on heads or not.

    May 13, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  162. dana ervin

    Women comprise more than 50% of the population and account for more than 50% of college graduates and law school graduates.
    So , if it were not for discrimination, there would be 5 women justices.

    Appointing more women to the Court is not about affirmative action, it is about the end of discrimination

    May 13, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  163. Michael Clifford

    Jack,

    President Obama should appoint the most qualified person for the job. Period.

    Mike
    Ireland.

    May 13, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  164. Jack - Lancaster, OH

    Mr. Cafferty:

    Yes it does matter. They need to read and understand the Constitution of the United States of America, and frequently.

    May 13, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  165. Ann Perry Garland Tx

    I would like to see a woman and try to even it up over the years their more men and now he is getting to put maybe 2 more on the bench.

    May 13, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  166. T. Rodney Tatum, South Florida

    I am utterly amazed at the topic considering the state of affairs the world currently finds itself. Gender? Race? Are you kidding? For the next fifty years, American's should be more concerned about a jurors position on privacy. With twitter, google, facebook and future high tech developments to build on our current technology the issue of privacy will be the cornerstone of issues before the court. The Republicans tried to run on those old chestnuts like Roe, affirmative action and taxes-We all saw where those positions got the grand ole' party.

    May 13, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  167. Leo

    As a 1st genereation hispanic I srongly believe that we must not descriminate on color, sex, age and intellect. Former president Bush Jr. tried to suck up to me by picking Alberto Gonzales to be Attorney General but I never gave in. In this case President Obama must pick the most qualified person to be the next Supreme Court Justice. This is a lifetime appointment and one of the few lasting legacys of a presidency that will impact the country for decades to come.

    May 13, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  168. Jenny

    I thought the whole point was for us to live in a land where justice can be served regardless of what box the judge checks off on some job application. Frankly, this whole discussion of what race or gender people are was old-fashioned when I was a kid. Media coverage of and evaluation of candidates' professional records would be far more welcome.

    May 13, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  169. Louise in Alabama

    I have always liked the sculpture of "The Thinker". If the Sitting Judge could look like that then I would be convinced that only pure thought would come from that person and would not care who housed the brain.

    May 13, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  170. kathy Conner

    Hi Jack, I think we should have a woman. There are to many old men on the supreme court right now. I think their age total about a 1000 yrs old! We need a young intelligent woman that is open to both sides of controversy. I'm 54 and we need change. Kathy from Arizona

    May 13, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  171. Frank Binning

    There has been alot of guff about electing a woman or a black or a hispanic to the supreme court. What no one has mentioned is the Appointment of an American Indian to the supreme court. It is Long past due that These Americans have their say in our court system. I am from Louisiana and I say put an American Indian on the Supreme Court

    May 13, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  172. Shelba

    It doesn't matter to me what sex, color or creed the new supreme court justice is as long as that person knows and is dedicated to the constitution of this country and does not try to rewrite it to political/social influences of the moment.

    We have had enough of that already.

    May 13, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  173. Lovett F. Harris

    The next supreme nominee's gender or race doesn't matter as much their ability to interpret the constitution. However, the supreme court should reflect the diversity of the country that it serves in order the best present the values of all people.

    May 13, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  174. Leesi

    Yes, it matters because there are certainly women who are as well-qualified as their male counterparts and we need to bring more parity to the SCOTUS. All of our governing entities need to be a better reflection of our population; for too long women have settled for being 2nd class citizens with poor representation even though we are clearly the majority. I hope the president chooses to nominate qualified female candidates.

    May 13, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  175. James

    While it personally does not matter to me, it does matter that the Court reflect society as a whole. I feel it is important that the court looks like those it is supposed to protect. So in the course of the courts decision calculus it shouldn't matter at all but in the course of national attribute reflections it matters greatly. Women and minority need positive role models to gauge national "glass ceilings" and to test tokenism in the court, like Justice Thomas.

    May 13, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  176. Katherine Parks

    I can only hope that the next Supreme Court Justice is either a woman or of a minority group, best yet would be a woman from a minority group, but that isn't necessary. There does need to be more representation of all sections of life in these United States, and laws have been left in the hands of White men for too long. Hispanics are quickly catching up with Non-Hispanic Whites in our population, so it would be nice to see a Hispanic woman become the next Supreme Court Justice. Our next census in 2010 will show just how close the numbers are with all the segments of the population.
    There are other segments that may represent all minorities...
    How about a Justice that is Hindi? Or Native American?

    May 13, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  177. Sharron

    It would be nice if the nominee was a woman. It would be nice if the nominee were Hispanic or Black. However it would be foolish for those to be the priorities.

    May 13, 2009 at 6:21 pm |
  178. Cody nj

    Jack, we just elected an African American president and could've possibly had a woman as president too so it doesn't matter to me at all if they are a woman or minority.

    May 13, 2009 at 6:21 pm |
  179. Angelo M.

    No, because the only two things that should matter in the supreme court is the morally right thing and getting results. Religion, idealogy, race and gender should not matter at all.

    May 13, 2009 at 6:21 pm |
  180. Dave from Bensalem, PA

    No, not in the least, Jack. A Supreme Court Justice is there to consider and interpret the law. I want to see someone who's shown a history of doing just that – applying the laws we've built from the Constitution as they apply to all people, regardless of race, gender or the other infinite factors that define America's diverse population. To suggest that one group or another have an edge for consideration based on the gender or race of the Justices is to suggest we want biased opinions based on those differences. We don't. The law is for everyone here in the U.S., so everyone should be eligible for the seat. May the best man or woman be seated.

    May 13, 2009 at 6:21 pm |
  181. Tony IL

    Jack,
    It doesn't matter at all. I as most Americans couldn't tell you the names of the Supreme Court Justices. The person who gets the position should be the best qualified. They should not be appointed just because of their sex, race, or ethnicity. This should be the same when it comes to the Affirmative Action, because no one should be picked over a better qualified candidate just because of the color of their skin. If we as Americans are to be equal, then the special consideration of others based on their sex, race, or ethnicity should end.

    May 13, 2009 at 6:22 pm |
  182. Joe P

    Why don't we ever hear sexual orientation or gender identity as a minority in questions like these? Women, blacks, hispanics... Is the LGBT community not a minority, or is it just assumed that one from the community would not make office? To answer the question, no it does not matter if the next Supreme Court justice is a woman or minority.

    Rochester, NY

    May 13, 2009 at 6:22 pm |
  183. Karen

    There are plenty of minority and female candidates perfectly qualified to take the position, and one of them should get it. The supreme court becomes myopic when it does not reflect the diversity of our society. Justice is not so much blind as it is able to see things from a variety of perspectives.

    May 13, 2009 at 6:22 pm |
  184. W. Collins

    Yes I feel that it absolutely matters. To ask a question as such, shows just how out of touch our society really is and the type ridiculous games we play. For example, could you ever imagine asking a question such as, "does it really matter if any any caucasian men are on the supreme court." Wake Up!

    May 13, 2009 at 6:22 pm |
  185. Jerry B

    Of course it matters if the next justice is a woman or not. The high court is suppose to be a representation of the people for the people. When looking at a snapshot of the current court, it does not look like America. There is a lack of representation from woman, hispanics, asian-americans, etc... Not that a minority status should be a criteria, but it needs to be considered within the extensive qualifications needed. I would like to see either an honorable hispanic woman or an openly gay female as consideration to the court in order to represent the needed perspectives for some of the significant issues that society will be pushing for as we continue to work toward a more perfect union for ALL Americans.

    May 13, 2009 at 6:23 pm |
  186. otimio vasquez

    Carlos R. Moreno would have a good understanding of the issues faceing a large portion of the u.s.a.

    May 13, 2009 at 6:23 pm |
  187. shuggie dubois

    Sex, color, religion does not matter. What I don't want to see is someone with a political bent appointed to the court. When in 2000 the Supreme Court handed the presidency to Bush in a case that it should not even have heard by them is of more concern. It was decided by judges who clearly had "payback" in mind. They were appointed by a Republican administration. This is not the way the Supreme Court was designed to operate and it made a sham of this branch of the government.

    May 13, 2009 at 6:24 pm |
  188. Kenny

    We elected Obama to be President, why not a Latino Woman for the Supreme Court?

    May 13, 2009 at 6:24 pm |
  189. AJ

    YES it does matter!!! I look at the picture of the Supreme Court judges and you know what I see? 7 white men, 1 black man, and 1 woman. To me that isn’t a representation of America. The next Supreme Court justice must be a woman, a minority or both, if not the court will lack a variety of perspectives and that never leads to anything good.

    May 13, 2009 at 6:24 pm |
  190. Veronika

    If Justice is Blind then the process behind choosing a Supreme Court Justice should be too. In my opinion, shape, size, color is largely irrelevant! The best person with the best qualifications for upholding the Laws of our Justice system is all that matters.

    May 13, 2009 at 6:25 pm |
  191. Wade R. Goria, Brooklyn, New York

    Jack, critical principles underlying the idea of a meritocracy and a democratic republic must provide the main dynamic guiding President Obama's nomination of a new Supreme Court Justice. Fortunately, most Americans agree with this idea. We should therefore all take comfort that this should continue to be so.

    May 13, 2009 at 6:25 pm |
  192. Dan

    Dear Jack—

    Gender is perspective; race is perspective; age is perspective; sexual orientation is perspective. It is thus necessary to think about the kind s of perspectives represented on the highest court. These characteristics of people are not determinative—a woman or person of color does not necessarily vote in favor of their “group.” We must always hope that anyone on the Court acts first as a juristis first.

    Yet, it is important who they are and what they have experienced. Those who offer a color blind or gender blind view on this are themselves blind in some manner. Anyone the President nominates will be tied in some way to their life experience. That is, they will be human. So, taking into consideration a balance of experience and perspective is vitally important because it cannot be of no consequence.

    Dan C
    Philadelphia

    May 13, 2009 at 6:26 pm |
  193. gerald

    Choosing a woman or minority reflects the demographics occuring in the USA today and the forseeable fujture. It's only fair.

    May 13, 2009 at 6:27 pm |
  194. Anna

    Funny that the only people asking whether race and gender matter are old, white men. White people are no longer the majority in this country and this needs to be reflected in the organizations and people setup to govern this country.

    May 13, 2009 at 6:27 pm |
  195. Kooksf from SF

    I am a Christian, but I am also an American. The court needs to do a better job of seperating church and state. Too many decisions involve religious doctrine but the premise that everyone is created equal needs to be the deciding factor, not what God thinks.

    May 13, 2009 at 6:27 pm |
  196. Don H. - Arizona

    To much todo is made about gender and ethnicity. Neither matters when it comes to the U.S. Supreme Court; what does matter is the religious preference of the appointee/ we DO NOT NEED ANOTHER CATHOLIC.
    We need a middle of the road independent person; one who has no ties to special interests, religious ideology, the American Bar Association, or either political party; one who is truly independent in thought and action, and who can evaluate merits based on a level playing field.

    May 13, 2009 at 6:28 pm |
  197. Bill from pa

    Only if a more qualified person is passed over just to accomadate some obscure quota.

    May 13, 2009 at 6:28 pm |
  198. Mohamad Ali

    Why does gender and ethnicity matter?
    We should be concerned with people qualifications and background to evaluate whether they are qualified for the job, not base their qualifications on their color or sex. It is ironic to ask the question "Does it matter if next Supreme Court justice is a woman or minority?" because we are not being fair and balanced in our appointments to Supreme Court justices, when their moral duty is to be fair and balanced.
    Moreover, I believe to even ask this question is rediculous because you are just reinforcing this type of discrimination by opening a debate on a obvious answer. We don't debate racisim, we automatically oppose it.

    May 13, 2009 at 6:28 pm |
  199. C. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    I'd like to see a African American appointed, since we don't have one.

    May 13, 2009 at 6:29 pm |
  200. Angel

    Why not. or Por Que No? As long as we are at war, the cheap labor of women and minorities will prevail anyhow. Why not, in the Supreme Court Justice, as well. It could certainly help to build some nationalistic pride for the Great American melting pot, we have here. Clearly a long road of democracy still lies ahead and it could help if the people here are able to identify more with authority figures we raise up and choose to uphold our will. Power to the People! Is never ever a bad thing, in my opinion.

    May 13, 2009 at 6:30 pm |
  201. Sean from Phoenix

    I would just like to see a competent judge that interprets the law, not legislates from the bench, or makes decisions based on consitutional "prenumbras." It would be nice too if the candidate doesn't believe that the government has the right to take your property without due cause. As far as race/gender issues go, a mix would be better, but lets just pick the best candidate.

    May 13, 2009 at 6:30 pm |
  202. Ken in NC

    Well it means the usage of the Ladies Room would increase by 100% but by a much smaller percentage if the President chose a male for the vacant seat.

    I guess you see how much it would mean to me.

    May 13, 2009 at 6:30 pm |
  203. DeAnna Orsbun

    Jack,
    It should not matter and, in an ideal world, it wouldn't. However this is far from an ideal world. Women are still descriminated against more than any other group, even in 2009. This needs to change and having more women on the court might help.

    May 13, 2009 at 6:32 pm |
  204. Chris

    I think President Obama should nominate his wife. She meets most if not all of his criteria: she is a minority; highly educated and holds a law degree from an Ivy League school (giving her at least some grasp of the Constitution); has shown empathy for others; has "real life experience" dealing with those less fortunate; and seems to be "down to earth"; and above all is well received by people from most if not all walks of life. I think with the majority in the Senate – she would stand a pretty good shot at getting confirmed!

    Chris

    May 13, 2009 at 6:33 pm |
  205. Gerda Edwards

    Of course we should place greater importance on one's sex and minority status, over content of character and qualifications!!!

    (Does that make me PC enough?)

    May 13, 2009 at 6:33 pm |
  206. Walt

    It doesn't matter. The candidate must be knowledgeable of the Constitution of the United States free of political partisanship. Hard to do, granted but this must be the sole criteria.

    May 13, 2009 at 6:33 pm |
  207. Big Bill from Brooklyn

    Jack,

    What matters is that the President pick the best possible Justice for America. Period, full stop.

    May 13, 2009 at 6:34 pm |
  208. Rich

    jack,

    No, it doesn't matter, as long as the person is legal. Seems to me that the illegals already have too many rights and we don't need them on The Supreme Court.

    May 13, 2009 at 6:35 pm |
  209. e person

    It matters a lot that it be a woman. Half the population at least is female, yet there is only one woman on the court. More than half of the workforce is female as of 2009, yet only one woman is on the court???

    May 13, 2009 at 6:35 pm |
  210. Sally LaGuerre

    I feel it is important that the person nominated is a woman. You can't overlook the fact that it is almost all male majority in the supreme court. There is more than enough qualified women or minorities to spread the oppurtunity around. I know Obama will make the right choice. He doesnt jump into decision making. I know he will think it through and make the best selection possible whether it be another male or female pick. Thank you.

    May 13, 2009 at 6:36 pm |
  211. Bob from Houston

    Unless President Obama nominates Condoleezza Rice because he feels that there should be another woman on the Supreme Court, the gender or ethnicity of the next justice doesn't matter to me.

    May 13, 2009 at 6:36 pm |
  212. Jim

    Absolutely a woman! Not simply for reasons of what we consider "gender equality," but because the genders do, as a result of our very basic natures and differing priorities, view the world differently. Nature is perfect by design and a court without the female perspective is necessarily flawed.

    Think about it. The court would think just like a man. Even I think that's scary.
    Jim

    May 13, 2009 at 6:38 pm |
  213. Nora

    The make up of our current Court doesn't come close to representing today's society as far as race, gender, religion, etc. The next Supreme Court Justice should be a woman. Justice Ginsburg has made it public that the court is unbalanced with only one woman. Look at Canada's Supreme Court for the balance of men and women. The Supreme Court needs to level the playing field with a woman (who obviously meets all of the other qualifications that the current Supreme Court Justices have). The difficult part will be to decide which woman as there are so many with excellent credentials.

    May 13, 2009 at 6:38 pm |
  214. Bill

    Obama will nominate a globalist with the face of a minority. Who ever the Bilderburgs, Council on Foreign Relations, or Tri-Lateral Commission Shadow Government Members order him to appoint. Just like all his other appointees.

    May 13, 2009 at 6:38 pm |
  215. Annie, Atlanta

    My answer earlier is that I hope it's a minority woman. However, as an aside, someone needs to read the definition of empathy to Mitch McConnell. He's confusing it with bias, and making himself sound stupid.

    May 13, 2009 at 6:39 pm |
  216. Dennis

    Who cares, they aren't gonna do anything tangible that effects my life. How come these guys and Politicians can work until there dead. I have a mandatory retirement. politician, just a bunch of Hippocrates.
    Now if they outlaw semi-automatic weapons, (rifles) It would change my belief in them.

    May 13, 2009 at 6:40 pm |
  217. Jack Phoenix, AZ

    We are not electing minority justices, just so retribution can be made. This court needs to respect the wills of all Americans and not represent one group. They should be of an age, to not be in failing health or mental alertness. Additionally they should be wise, as to new technologies.

    May 13, 2009 at 6:40 pm |
  218. T. Rodney Tatum, South Florida

    I couldn't agree with James more. We need a visionary with a I.Q. in triple digits. The last person we the people need to appoint to the bench is another token like ole' Coke Can.

    May 13, 2009 at 6:42 pm |
  219. Mike

    YES!!!

    The new Justice should be:

    Female, Black/Hispanic, overweight, depressed, divorced (at least twice), gay, and broke,

    There...we've covered everything.

    May 13, 2009 at 6:42 pm |
  220. Paul

    Yes it does. The one controversial and contentious issue that is hotly debated is the Roe V. Wade decision. Though it effects all Americans, one can argue it proufoundly effects women to a greater degree. And in general, the American people deserve and should have more representation from women in the Supreme Court. Historically, the U.S. has a poor track record in that department. Obama shouldn't pass up an opportunity to make it right, or at least a little better.

    May 13, 2009 at 6:43 pm |
  221. JR

    The Supreme Court should reflect the country and it does NOT today. A woman minority is needed.

    May 13, 2009 at 6:44 pm |
  222. Rich

    Jack,

    It doesn't matter, as long as the qualified person is a legal resident. Seems to me that the illegals already have too many rights and we don't need them on The Supreme Court.

    Rich
    Wall, N.J.

    May 13, 2009 at 6:46 pm |
  223. David Jacobs

    The American judiciary and legal ranks are overwhelmingly populated by male WASPs. But today we find that the White House short-list for a Supreme Court nominee contains not a single male WASP. Patently, that is a mathematical impossibility unless male WASPs are being systematically excluded from the search. The exclusion of any racial, ethnic, gender, or religious group or groups from consideration for a seat on the Supreme Court is racism, pure and simple - even if one feels somehow this time it's "justified." Would any of you top-notch journalists like to try to get our mealy-mouthed CEO to admit that in public?

    DJ
    Los Angeles

    May 13, 2009 at 6:46 pm |
  224. Patrick

    I'd like to see a red head get in there... red heads are the REAL underrepresented minority.

    May 13, 2009 at 6:49 pm |
  225. Mike from Wa

    Why is it when I higher a person from an application I am not allowed to use age, race, gender as determining factors in highering or firing of employees. But the government is allowed to choose the class, race, gender for the job to fill political tides. This is wrong the best applicant should be hired male, female, black, white, brown, old, young. The end doesn't justify the means even if you feel right.

    The method that is being discussed frustrates me because it is the opposite of racism. Isn't this affirmative action all over again?

    May 13, 2009 at 6:49 pm |
  226. David from Newport OR

    I can care less as long as they UNDERSTAND the Constitution. Some of the past appointees do not have that ability and hence, make their decisions based on a political agenda instead of the law. Their job is not to dicate law...their job is to evaluate whether law is constitutional. However, I am confident there are women capable of the job.

    May 13, 2009 at 6:49 pm |
  227. Larry Madison

    How will this country every become color blind if we describe everyone by their color or gender..... black,female,male,white brown or yellow? I suggest a strict constitutuionalist would serve our nation best. We need to put the blindfold back on Lady Justice!

    May 13, 2009 at 6:49 pm |
  228. P.N.Grant

    Empathy is bias. Affirmative action has been discredited, disallowed, and considered SOOO 70s. Discrimination is discrimination. When no white male is mentioned as a replacement that is discrimination. When the Annointed One says she must have empathy, he begs for discrimination. What about preferring one over another don't you liberals understand?

    May 13, 2009 at 6:50 pm |
  229. lanette (michigan)

    how about a NATIVE AMERICAN? after all, they were here first anyway

    May 13, 2009 at 6:52 pm |
  230. Tom from OK

    Heck yeah. Women and Minorities are so under represented that it is a real shame. A Black/Puerto Rican Lesbian will do. Cheneys daughter should like that choice.

    May 13, 2009 at 6:52 pm |
  231. Randy E Voight

    I just don't want someone who will appoint another George Bush as president!

    May 13, 2009 at 6:54 pm |