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U.S. Supreme Court

Sotomayor says judiciary is ‘missing a huge amount of diversity’

Posted Nov 21, 2013 10:27 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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Justice Sonia Sotomayor criticized the judiciary for a lack of diversity and the legal profession for a glass ceiling when responding to questions at a law school appearance on Tuesday.

Sotomayor said the number of minority partners in law firms is “dismally small” while the lack of diversity on the bench is a “huge danger,” according to The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times.

"We're missing a huge amount of diversity on the bench," Sotomayor told students at American University’s Washington College of Law. She said the problem is not just racial and gender diversity, The BLT reports. Judges rarely come from civil rights or criminal defense backgrounds, she said, and few come from solo or small practices.

Sotomayor said greater diversity could increase public confidence in the judiciary as people see more people who are like themselves on the bench.

Asked if there was a glass ceiling in the legal profession, Sotomayor answered in the affirmative and said, “Every area of the law is missing diversity.”

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