Tuesday, September 11, 2012

President Obama and female judicial appointments

We have had some discussion on the blog about how many federal judgeships are vacant under President Obama's administration.  Given our criticism, it seems appropriate to point out that President Obama has reportedly appointed more women to the federal bench than any other president.  The ABA Law Journal has the story here

President Obama has yet to have the opportunity to name a judge to the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit.  The Eighth Circuit has only two judges appointed by Democratic presidents and six of its eleven active judges were actually appointed by President George W. Bush.  As a result, the New York Times calls the Eighth Circuit "one of the more conservative federal appellate courts."  Regardless of whether that is accurate, the Eighth Circuit only has one female judge, Diana Murphy, who is also the first female judge appointed to the Eighth Circuit.

The Minnesota Litigator has a post suggesting that the lack of female judges on the Eighth Circuit has made it a bad place to be a woman in the workforce.  Given the conduct described in the post, it is hard to argue with that suggestion.  However, then I remembered this post by Mr. Torvik.  If you slightly modify the reasoning used by St. Thomas University School of Law Professor Robert Delhunty*, then you can say that the states within the Eighth Circuit are a great place for people to be free to sexually harass women.   

 * I was going to call Professor Delhunty's reasoning the "Joni Mitchell Argument" as she famously wrote, "something's lost, but something's gained."  However, since I am under the impression that Ms. Mitchell is against slavery and sexual harassment, I decided not to call it that.  Still, I like the song that contains the lyric so I figured I would reference it. 

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