August 03, 2009

Americans want Native justice

Poll:  Americans Want Native American on Supreme Court

By Nikki SchwabThe president has cheered diversity on the Supreme Court with his nomination of Sonia Sotomayor, who would be the first Hispanic and third woman to be appointed to the bench. For his next pick, we turned to you in our most recent Whispers poll.

Respondents chose racial diversity over religious diversity or difference in sexual orientation. A whopping 50 percent of those surveyed said they would like to see President Obama choose a Native American for the Supreme Court if the president got a second selection. Nineteen percent said they would like to see Obama appoint an Asian and 16 percent an African-American justice. Only 13 percent hoped to see a gay or lesbian justice as Obama's next pick. And coming in last, with 2 percent, was a Muslim justice.
Comment:  I'm a little skeptical of this poll. If it's true, Americans may want a stereotype of a Native judge: quiet, dignified, like a wise elder in a Disney cartoon. What they probably don't want is a typical Native judge: a liberal advocate for tribal sovereignty and other Native causes who will make Sonia Sotomayor look conservative.

For more on the subject, see Native Lawyers Support Sotomayor and Multicultural Perspective for Judges.

Below:  America's idea of an acceptable Native justice? "Me no have strong views of my own. Me nod and do what white man say."

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