O’Connor On Government Gender Gap: ‘Maybe You Haven’t Noticed, But 51% Of Population Is Female’
11:01 am, April 12th | by Rebecca Srulowitz
Lest we forget, it was only a short 30 years ago that the first woman was appointed a Supreme Court justice. Now three women sit on the bench — something unprecedented and of which we should be proud.
Last night, these three female Supreme Court justices — Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan — gathered to celebrate Sandra Day O’Connor, the woman who shattered the glass ceiling three decades ago and paved the way for our generation’s great female legal minds to dream of one day being appointed to the bench as well.
O’Connor was nominated by Regan in July of ’81 and confirmed unanimously in September of that same year, though that’s not to say no one was upset by her appointment. As per usual, some pro-life and religious groups opposed her nomination for fear that she would not overturn Roe v Wade. Which, incidentally, she didn’t. Sadly, this sort of pro-life concern over female members of the bench is not unfamiliar, as Kagan and Sotomayor have experienced similar protests.
At the celebration last night, O’Connor said we should be proud we now have three female Supreme Court justices. However, she argued that only four women out of a total 112 justices in over 200 years is, frankly, not good enough, and it’s time to make up for all that lost time. Or as she put it,
Maybe you haven’t noticed, but I think about 51 or 52 percent of the population are females. And I think they notice when their public bodies are dominated entirely by one sex. I think women care about that and they should.