I think it would be hard for Mark Halperin to come across as more pathetic than he did this morning, complaining about the possibility that Obama might appoint a judge to the Supreme Court who wasn't a white man. The common refrain among complaints such as these is that Obama should pick "the best person for the job," the implication being that the best person for the job couldn't possibly be black, or Latino, or a woman, or anything but a white man. I doubt that most people who make this argument seriously consider what they're saying, but the assumption that the most qualified applicant for a given position is automatically a white man should be self-evidently disturbing.

But let's put all this in perspective. There have been 110 Justices on the Supreme Court. Of those, two have been women, and two have been black. The other 106 have been white men. That means that around 96 percentĀ of Supreme Court justices have been white men. Truly, when it comes to getting named to the Supreme Court, white men can't get a break.

-- A. Serwer

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