A different kind of breakthrough on the court

A DIFFERENT KIND OF BREAKTHROUGH ON THE COURT…. There have been 110 Supreme Court justices. Of that total, zero have been openly gay. Marc Ambinder notes today that this may change fairly soon.

Two of the most qualified center-left jurists in the country are gay, and they’ve got friends in high places.

Channeling our inner Joy Behars: “Who cares?”

Sexual orientation won’t matter to President Obama — this I do believe, based on several years of reporting on the guy. Unless he’s influenced by subconscious patter, he’s not going to choose someone because she’s gay, and he’s not going to remove someone from a list because she’s gay.

That does not mean, in any way, that he won’t want to think through the ramifications of what the appointment of the first openly gay jurists would entail.

This is not just idle speculation. Kathleen Sullivan, a First Amendment scholar and former dean of Stanford Law School, frequently appears on lists of possible high court nominees, as does Stanford’s Pam Karlan, and both are lesbians.

Ambinder, speculating about the possibility, argues, “Journalists will cover the issue reductively, interest groups on all sides won’t be able to resist; opponents may well use her sexuality as a weapon against her, and proponents will see every attack against her as motivated by antipathy to homosexuality.” Perhaps.

But I hope White House officials remain open to the possibility anyway. At a minimum, I’d like to see conservative activists try to rationalize their intolerance. I expect we’d hear a lot of, “I don’t hate gay people, but….”