Bench Memos

Re: She Doesn’t Impose Her Own Quotas

Kathryn:  Your post about Judge Sotomayor’s hiring of law clerks reminds me of the tension between Justice Ginsburg’s employment practices (as of the time she was nominated to the Supreme Court) and her own aggressive support for disparate-impact statistics as evidence of intentional discrimination.  In her 1993 Supreme Court confirmation hearing, it was learned, much to Ginsburg’s visible embarrassment, that in her 13 years on the D.C. Circuit she had never had a single black law clerk, intern, or secretary.  Out of 57 employees, zero blacks.

Sotomayor’s own hiring practices reinforce the concerns of counsel for the plaintiff firefighters in Ricci v. DeStefano that Sotomayor regarded their own highly skilled work, in which they put their lives at risk to protect the public safety, as the equivalent of garbage collection.