Diversity quandry: Woman or African-American?


Author: Joshua Thompson

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is drawing some heat for failing to re-appoint Justice John Wallace to New Jersey's Supreme Court.  You see, Justice Wallace is an African-American, so Governor Christie's decision is receiving criticism "because Wallace would at least diversify the bench."

Of course, Governor Christie's detractors fail to mention that his appointee is a woman — Deputy Attorney General Anne Patterson.  It strikes me as a bit ridiculous to chastise the governor on "diversity" grounds, when his appointee could also be said to be diversifying the court.  As one blogger noted, "I want to know who [decided] to exclude women from the pool of citizens vulnerable to invidious discrimination?"

Regardless, basing nominations on skin color or sex should be considered equally wrong.  I know nothing about New Jersey politics, but I imiagine that Justice Wallace is considered the more liberal justice, and Deputy Attorney General Patterson is expected to be more conservative.  And I suspect that is the true motivation behind the the left's oposition to the governor's appointment.

To that end, would there be an outcry over diversity if Justice Clarence Thomas was supplanted by Justice Reinhardt?

225px-Clarence_Thomas_official Judge Stephen Reinhardt

I doubt it.