Supreme Court Bar Lacks Diversity
May 20 (Bloomberg) — While the Supreme Court has three female justices, a Hispanic and an African-American, the lawyers appearing before it are almost all white males.
According to the Associated Press, during the roughly 75 hours of oral arguments this term, an African-American lawyer spoke one time, for just 11 minutes. Four Hispanic lawyers spoke for less than 2 hours, while female lawyers accounted for just 17 percent of the arguments.
And women who do appear tend to have lower paying jobs as public interest lawyers, government lawyers, or public defenders. Ten men from law firms have argued two or more cases this term. Arnold & Porter’s Lisa Blatt is the only woman to do the same.
The Justice Department’s Office of the Solicitor General is a leading pipeline to the big law firms that handle High Court cases. While men hold the top supervisory positions there, six women from the office did argue before the Court this term.
Blatt says that gives her confidence the gender imbalance will eventually be cured.