‘Need not apply’

‘NEED NOT APPLY’…. Seven of the nine sitting justices on the U.S. Supreme Court are white men. There isn’t exactly a cause for concern that white men will be unrepresented at the high court.


It was odd, then, to see that Time‘s Mark Halperin, for the better part of the morning, has featured the headline, “White Men Need Not Apply” at the top of the page of his site. The “need not apply” phrase is generally associated with groups being discriminated against, which makes Halperin’s lead story all the more striking.

Now, we don’t yet know who the Obama White House might consider for the court, or what the demographic considerations might be, but is it necessarily awful that the president might consider adding a little diversity to the Supreme Court?

Eight of the nine are men. Eight of the nine are white. Given the diversity of the nation, and the qualifications of the vast field of American jurists, maybe it’s a good thing if the president sought to improve the imbalances?

Dana Goldstein added, with tongue planted firmly in check, “You know what is so offensive? Those damn P.C. police pressuring the president to place a second woman on the Supreme Court. You know, because it’s not embarrassing or anything that although 51 percent of the population is female, only 11 percent of the Court is. And it’s not like the Court routinely makes decisions that affect women’s health and very autonomy! No, siree. Let’s get a white dude in there!”

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Steve Benen

Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.