The Tenth Justice

I have called for this for years, but a quote by Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginzburg just brought it back up in conversation, so I thought I would revist the subject here.

Someone posted this meme quoting her.


I agree with this. It is important that we have true diversity on the courts, especially the Supreme Court, so that we accurately reflect and understand the complexities of our culture.

This is also why for years I had advocated the creation of a Tenth Justice, a Native American Justice, to represent the indigenous peoples of this nation. They have historically been voiceless and treated as invisible in this, their land. We could easily rectify this by having one of their elders sitting on our Supreme Court. The wisdom would be welcome to all, but specifically they would have a voice on all federal issues that touch their peoples, be it environmental, education, land use, etc.

To be clear, I am not calling for a special chair for each ethnicity. We don’t need the African American Judge, the Hispanic Judge, etc. I think the usual 9 are fine to reflect the diversity of American life. We should always have a cross section of genders, ethnicities, lifestyles, religions, etc., reflected in the court’s makeup. This is a unique case, because Native Americans exist outside the system and outside of every day life in America. They are truly the only people treated as “separate but equal” and yet, as is always the case in these scenarios, they are not equal. A Native American seat on the bench of the Supreme Court would go a long way to correcting this problem, even if largely symbolically.

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