Female judges make up less than a quarter of the federal bench, and only a little more than that at the state level, a new report found.
The report noted that there were plenty of women graduating from law school and passing the bar, just under half, so it's not that there isn't a talent pool. From the Blog of Legal Times:
The report says that the disparity cannot be attributed to a lack of qualified women. According to the American Bar Association, women comprise 48% of law school graduates and 45% of law firm associates. Instead, the report blames a lack of opportunity and access.
This is a problem for the U.S. Again, it's not just about making the bench look representative of the population, though that's a part. It's also providing different perspectives with which to look at cases. If it's not clear now, it should be soon that being a judge involves judgment affected by background. It's not just an interpretation of the law that is the same for everyone.
After serious candidates have reached certain levels of achievement, like obtaining degrees from Ivy League law schools and spending years in courtrooms or studying the law, they're pretty much equal. Choices for judges, then, have to do with preferences rather than qualifications. So, we have to start adjusting who we prefer.