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Prof. Hannah Brenner on why Trump should nominate a woman for SCOTUS

California Western Professor Hannah Brenner

President Donald Trump’s cohort of candidates for the U.S. Supreme Court places him among a select group of American presidents, write Professors Renee Knake and Hannah Brenner in a recent op-ed in the Houston Chronicle.

Fewer than a dozen administrations have contemplated a woman candidate. Knake’s and Brenner’s research documents that Franklin D. Roosevelt was the first to do so in 1937 shortlisting Florence Ellinwood Allen among potential nominees as part of his failed court-packing scheme.

The concept of women serving on the Supreme Court is so novel that the four who have done so are still alive, continue Knake and Brenner. Less than 1 percent of the justices have been women. A president has yet to name a woman to the position of chief justice, and the composition of the current court still does not reflect the percentage of women in the general population or the number of women who enter the practice of law.

Trump should not select a justice simply because she is female, but because the court’s legitimacy and credibility are enhanced when its membership represents the general population. A woman among the shortlisted six should be his nominee.

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