To read about F's and my London trip, start here and click "newer post" to continue the story.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Here's an article, one of many, about Souter's replacement on the SC.

When Women Rule, It Makes a Difference

Who might take Souter's place? We're already being introduced to Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan and Pamela Karlan -- all very accomplished individuals who happen to possess the one qualification that many commentators and court-watchers seem to agree is the most important this time around: They are women.

More blah-blah, right? But wait:

[W]e found that female judges are approximately 10 percent more likely to rule in favor of the party bringing the discrimination claim. We also found that the presence of a female judge causes male judges to vote differently. When male and female judges serve together to decide a sex discrimination case, the male judges are nearly 15 percent more likely to rule in favor of the party alleging discrimination than when they sit with male judges only.

This holds true even after we account for judges' ideological leanings.

[emphasis added]

It appears that men are more likely to see discrimination if they are considering it while in the presence of women. So are the men being bullied and pushed around just by having estrogen in the room? I've seen some mighty pitiful commenters lately complaining about how evil women are ruining men's lives just by drawing breath - apparently the fragile male ego wasn't a hoax of the 1970's after all, at least for them.

Or is it that the men are taking a second look, and looking harder, if women are present? I used to have a boss who told me more than once that I was his conscience. I left that job. Develop your own damn conscience. It's not too much to ask.

If the men are being bullied into favoring discrimination suits because women are present, dare I suggest that they man up. But if they're looking harder and taking it more seriously when women are present, then justice seems to demand that women be in the mix when these things are looked at; and this probably doesn't extend only to the SC.

Either way, I don't like what this says about human nature.

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