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BRINGING THE SUPREMES IN LINE WITH THE LAW

The U.S. Supreme Court has a miserable record when it comes to hiring women and minorities to serve as clerks to the justices (WFF, 9/25/98). Of the 428 clerks hired by sitting justices, only 7% have been minority and 25% have been female (best record on women: Breyer 50%; worst: Rehnquist, 13%). They've probably gotten away with it because they are exempt from federal employment and anti-discrimination laws. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-IL) has introduced a bill to change the numbers. The Judicial Branch Employment Nondiscrimination Act (HR. 1048) would make Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights act (outlawing discrimination on the basis of race and sex) fully applicable to the judicial branch of the government. Ask your member of the House to co-sponsor at 202-224-3121 (or send e-mail). Clerks draft opinions and help shape the Court's thinking. If more women and minorities were clerks, chances are fewer opinions would be anti-woman or bad for minorities.

(WFF 3/19/99)

 

 

 

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