Tuesday, July 20, 2010

A Critical Mass

Elena Kagan's nomination to the Supreme Court was approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee today. The 13-6 vote pretty much along party lines, except that Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) joined the majority Democrats.

Her confirmation by the Senate is expected early next month, then there will be three female justices--Justices Ginsberg, Sotomayer and Kagan- one third of the Supreme Court. And, this is very important, this one third proportion.

While women are not a monolith, and just being a woman does not make one a feminist, the fact that 33% of the Supreme Court Justices will be women is significant. Most political analysts say that when women make up 20-33% of any group including political bodies--than they have reached the critical mass needed to be a minority that is heard, and changes happen that include their perspective. The majority will not be able to overlook the women's different perspectives; these different perspectives will have to be taken in to account. It is at this point that the dominant perpsective becomes inclusive, and we are one step closer to equality in our liberal democracy.

In the article below, Justice Ginsberg discusses the issue:
See the Vanity Fair article:


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