Supreme Court Of New York City ?
The Supreme Court has some justices who are liberals and some who are conservatives. It has some who see themselves as strict constructionists and some who probably do not.
And then it has the justices who grew up riding the subway and the ones who grew up turning right on red.
It has the justice who was the treasurer of the Go-Getters Club at James Madison High School in Brooklyn. It has the justice who watched “Perry Mason” on television in a housing project in the Bronx and decided that the star defense lawyer was less important than the judge. It has the justice who took part in a junior military training program at Xavier High School in Manhattan and carried his rifle home on the train to Queens.
If the nomination of Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court is confirmed, she would join three others in a distinct bloc. For the first time in the court’s history, said William Treanor, the dean of Fordham Law School, it would have four justices who grew up in New York City.
The four are a portrait of the city, each carrying distinct New York traits to Washington. “Kagan is so Manhattan, Scalia is so Queens, Ginsburg is so Brooklyn and Sotomayor is so Bronx,” said Joan Biskupic, the author of a biography of Justice Antonin Scalia. “They adopted in their identities the whole New York sensibility.”
It’s a minor point, perhaps, but along with the educational bias that James noted, and the fact that, assuming Kagan is confirmed, only one Supreme Court Justice, Anthony Kennedy, will be from an area not on the East Coast of the United States. It does make one wonder whether this is all just a coincidence, or if there’s some kind of odd selection bias at play here.
Also, just for the record, Justices from Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, and the Bronx reflect a pretty cosmopolitan idea of “diversity.”