Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Odds 'N Ends

1. Something About Miss California and Breast Implants

I'm sorry, are people still talking about Carrie Prejean?

Moving on then.

2. Britain's New Poet Laureate

Via AfterEllen, Britain has appointed Carol Ann Duffy its first female, first openly-gay, first Scot, and first mother poet laureate.

Part of Duffy's duties:

"[W]ill be to write works commemorating royal events. She will receive approximately $8,500 a year for the position, which she plans to donate to the Poetry Society to finance an annual poetry prize."

I studied poetry in college, but haven't really read it consistently since then. Nonetheless, this is exciting good news!

3. A Lesbian Supreme Court Justice?

Perhaps by now you've heard that Justice Souter has announced his retirement from the US Supreme Court.

President Obama and Congress now have the opportunity to do what previous administrations have failed to do, make the court more diverse. Currently, the Supreme Court's demographic makeup is as follows:

1 woman/8 men
1 African-American/8 White
2 Jewish/7 Christian (5 of 7 Catholic)
0 openly LGBT/9 heterosexual

During George W. Bush's presidency, two white men were appointed to the Court following the vacancies created by Sandra Day O'Connor and William Rehnquist. Women currently comprise about half of graduating law school classes and talented female attorneys and judges are now ubiquitous. I think it's a given that Obama will appoint a woman, and the only question is whether his appointee will also be a woman of color.

More than 200 women are federal district and appeals court judges, 45% of law firm associates are female, and a fifth of the nation's law school deans are women. Some names that are rumored to be on Obama's "short list" of nominees include Governor Jennifer M. Granholm (Michigan), Governor Janet Napolitano (Arizona), federal appeals court judge Sonya Sotomayor (also of Puerto Rican descent), and former dean of and current professor at Stanford Law School Kathleen Sullivan (also an open lesbian).

As 108 out of 110 US Supreme Court Justices have been male and 108 out of 110 have been White, it will be highly disappointing if another white man joins the Court.

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