Why aren’t there more women arguing at the Supreme Court? Yes, genitalia counting has reached SCOTUS, with an analysis by Adam Feldman.
On a per-attorney basis, women were more successful than men in the following categories: all attorneys on the merits, non-governmental attorneys on the merits, and amicus win rates.
If it were that simple, and if correlation proved causation, it would certainly seem that a female attorney at oral argument would improve a party’s chances of winning.* And yet, women lawyers comprise a disproportionately low 17.79%.
These data reflect the disparity in female attorneys’ opportunities before the Supreme Court. They also show that most rational explanation for this disparity, that men outperform women, does not hold. Another explanation may have to do with lack of interest, although statistics on women joining the bar discredit this claim as well. Additional fine-grained analyses could help inform our understanding of the male to female oral argument disparity. The message, however, is clear: namely that no reasonable statistical explanation can account for the difference in participation between male and female attorneys before the United States Supreme Court.
While there are other, non-gender-related, explanations, both as to the percentage of women and outcomes, those aren’t worthy of consideration as they conflict with the inherent belief that equality must be proved by the numbers.
In light of Feldman’s finding. former Acting Solicitor General, Neal Katyal, took to the twitters.
How, exactly, “all of us” have anything to say about who gets retained to argue cases before the Supreme Court is a bit fuzzy. Why these numbers are “100% unacceptable” is similarly unclear, although understandable as a tenet of orthodoxy. But why someone as smart as Katyal would offer such an absurdly shallow plea finds no rational explanation.
There are at least two ways to take this message. The first is to mock Katyal’s simplistic genitalia counting, raising yet another of the progressive sacred-cow identities, also “under-represented” if one is to buy into the silliness that lawyers arguing before the Supreme Court should, if social justice is to be believed, match every marginalized demographic, in tandem with the “gender is just a social construct” belief where anybody can be anything. If one is going to promote their religious beliefs, then they are not immune from their beliefs being challenged.
Or one could take Gura’s mention of “transgender,” used as a totally unapproved noun rather than adjective, as a slur. Naturally, this is how how the unduly passionate took it.
Let’s have a discussion, provided you only use words that carry the social justice seal of approval? Are there “better ways to disagree”? It’s irrelevant. Aside from the fact that Gura’s twit wasn’t about transgender people at all, but ridiculing the inane social justice orthodoxy reflected in Katyal’s twit, there is the effort by progressive scolds to attack politically-incorrect language and pressure lawyers to confess their heresy and self-censor. Let no word appear that offends the White Knights of social justice.
Even the kids at ATL got into the fight, with this eminently clickbaitable yet erudite headline.
And they can’t understand why people won’t bend to their will.
Some guys just don’t get it. They don’t want to — the system has been working just fine for them, thank you very much, and any attempt to recognize systemic inequality is seen as a direct affront to them personally. It isn’t, but some snowflakes just can’t help themselves.
Why is this literally horrifying?
Um, the fuck?
Probably the most comprehensible sentence Kathryn Rubino has written.
You should really check out the full thread, but Gura gets all mock offended that his comment could be compared to blackface, but it still uses the trappings of a marginalized identity to garner some sort of an advantage. It’s super offensive actually. But if he doesn’t mock people for whom he has an artificial sense of superiority, how will the world know how clever he is? (Spoiler alert: he isn’t.)
And, of course Gura doesn’t think it is a problem that women account for a pittance of Supreme Court arguments. Did you expect anything different?
Unlike some people, who have made a choice to suffer the slings and arrows of the outraged children rather than acquiesce to the language of social justice so that the unduly passionate don’t lose their heads, Alan tried to explain that his twit had nothing to do with any animus toward transgender people, to no avail. There was the absolute certainty that this “snowflake” (?), being a white cis-gendered male, couldn’t possibly be anything other than evil, and his refusal to repent and confess his sins against social justice meant he had to be a hater.
Of course, there was similarly no capacity on the part of the unduly passionate to grasp that Katyal’s pandering to the fools was, as Alan asserted, absurd. As another member of the twitter tone police told Alan,
That folks on left & right can’t agree that this sort of behavior/joking about our trans brothers & sisters is not acceptable makes me sad.
While making an SJW sad isn’t exactly the metric for social justice censorship on the internet, this captures the pointlessness of having the “discussion” that Alan, being a good-willed sort of guy, tried to have after the gnats lost their shit on him. Folks on the left & right (and the middle, an omission that never dawns on the unduly passionate) could have a great discussion, as long as it adheres to the requisite social justice orthodoxy. This, too, they just can’t grasp as they wander the internets in search of words that offend them.
Is it possible, even likely, that the dearth of women arguing at the Supreme Court is, at least in part, the product of sexism? Of course it is. Spewing nonsense on the internet is no more likely to solve the problem than it is to get people to cease their heretical use of words that make social justice warriors sad.
*While this shouldn’t need to be said in a modestly rational world, the choice of lawyer who appears before the Supreme Court should be based on skill, not genitalia. Not because the lawyer has a penis. Not despite it. Just merit. If that means 100% of the lawyers arguing before SCOTUS turn out to be female, so be it.