Making the judiciary look more like America

Friday, February 27, 2009

As America has become more diverse, its law schools and firms have followed suit. But the pipeline to the judiciary is blocked—white males are overrepresented on state appellate benches by a margin of nearly two-to-one. Ciara Torres-Spelliscy, one of the authors of a Brennan Center for Justice study on making the judiciary more diverse, and Kim Cocroft, a newly appointed judge in Columbus, Ohio, join John and Jerome with a look at the issue.

Guests:

Kim Cocroft and Ciara Torres-Spelliscy

Hosted by:

Jerome Vaughn

Contributors:

Nadia Zonis

Comments [5]

anonymous

You must not have conducted much research.....

As featured in the Columbus Dispatch:
http://www.dispatchpolitics.com/live/content/local_news/stories/2009/02/26/copy/nujudges.ART_ART_02-26-09_B1_TVD1PHE.html?adsec=politics&sid=101

"Domestic Relations Judge Kim Browne, a Republican, said she, too, was a young lawyer with little experience when Gov. Bob Taft chose her over heavily favored men in January 2002. Browne, who is black, was elected and then re-elected and now serves as lead judge on her court.

"Do I think race was a factor?" she asked of Beatty and Cocroft. "I do. Do I think gender was a factor? I do. But the court needs to reflect the diversity of Franklin County, and we are underrepresented on the bench."

Mar. 04 2009 06:19 PM
M. Stovell

FYI
CRITERION:
1 : a standard on which a judgment or decision may be based

The Honorable Elect, Kimberly Cocroft has obviously proven to the trained educators of Ohio State University, the state of Ohio and Governor Strictly that she is more than qualified for the position bestowed upon her. If you have done your own research into Ms. Cocroft professional history, you would find it to be extremely commendable. Not once in my research did I find a "because she is a minority (female, Young and African-American)". In short, she made it right.
I only ask the public to take a moment to be color blind and enhance moralities sight.

Mar. 03 2009 07:28 PM
pat

bias issues

Feb. 27 2009 05:58 PM
NABNYC

For most of this country's history, law schools either barred women completely or restricted women to 2 spots in the entering classes (of generally about 150 students per first year class). By the mid-1980s, women were reaching 50% of most law school classes.

I was part of the first wave, entering law school in 1979. What I have seen is that women are hired out of law school, but they are gotten rid of at about 5 years.

Some of the popular women's magazines have run articles wondering where all the women lawyers go, because most of them disappear from practice at around age 30. The women disappear because there are no jobs for them, and they are gotten rid of by the major firms.

In my county, women are 18% of the judges and commissioners (judges-in-waiting).

It's pathetic that a profession which is supposedly dedicated to justice is so unwilling to live by those laws.

Feb. 27 2009 01:26 PM
mgduke

This morning’s segment on judicial diversity was appalling both for the grammatical ignorance of the newly appointed judge and for the continuing inability of the Takeaway hosts to think outside scripted talking points.

The new judge demonstrated a frightening ignorance of basic English. In just a few sentences she repeatedly said ‘criterion’ for ‘criteria’ and made the grating error of ‘more beyond’ rather than ‘more than’. No educated adult would make these rudimentary errors. How can the public expect a judge to follow and apply complexities of law when she is incapable of following and applying elementary rules of language?

That was the crucial question raised by this new judge’s alarming ignorance, but The Takeaway hosts refused to ask it. This segment was meant to send a positive message about judicial diversity and damned if the Takeaway was going to let reality interfere. The result is that Takeaway listeners get canned radio, it may be live but it is not alive.

Feb. 27 2009 10:15 AM

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