Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Justice Steven's Retirement: Will it bring a second Latina to the Supreme Court?

With Justice Stevens' retirement, President Obama has the opportunity to appoint another member of the Supreme Court. Conventional wisdom identifies as leading contenders U.S. Solicitor General Elena Kagan, Judge Dianne Wood of the Seventh Circuit, and Judge Merrick Garland, of the D.C. Circuit. However, both SLATE Magazine and the Sacramento Bee list Ninth Circuit Judge Kim McLane Wardlaw as a potential replacement as well. Judge Wardlaw, of Mexican American and Irish Scottish ancestry, was the first Latina appointed to a federal appeals court. She was appointed by President Clinton to the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California in 1995 and then again by Clinton to the Court of Appeals in 1998. According to SLATE, "[s]he sailed through both her confirmations with bipartisan support. (Sen. Dianne Feinstein is one of her backers.)" Judge Wardlaw was a front runner last year when Justice Souter retired. A graduate of UCLA both for undergrad and law school, she would add non Ivy League diversity to the highest court. HuffPo reports that at least one conservative pundit has urged President Obama to "avoid the Ivy League." SLATE further reports that Judge Wardlaw is best known as the author "the 9th Circuit opinion, which the Supreme Court largely concurred on appeal, which found a violation of the Fourth Amendment in an Arizona school's strip-search of a 13-year-old girl wrongly suspected of hiding prescription-strength ibuprofen in her underwear. Wardlaw wrote that 'a reasonable school official, seeking to protect the students in his charge, does not subject a 13-year-old girl to a traumatic search to 'protect' her from the danger of Advil.' "Judge Wardlaw is also notable for participating in 2007 in the first ever all Latino/a judge panel of the Circuit Courts of Appeals. The three 9th Circuit judges are pictured in the photograph above. (Left to right) Judge Arthur L. Alarcón, Judge Kim McLane Wardlaw, and Judge Ferdinand F. Fernandez, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, comprised the federal Judiciary’s first all-Hispanic appellate panel.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Nuestras Voces welcomes passionate and respectful commentary. The administrator will delete comments that insult or threaten other blog participants or that fall outside of the bounds of respectful discourse. Trolling, spamming and other annoying behaviors are strictly prohibited. In the rare event that your post has been deleted, do not post comments regarding that fact. Peace!