More Black lawyers needed in Supreme Court
Freddie Allen | 5/27/2013, 5:03 p.m.
Shaw added: “At the very least, in cases in which the rights and interests of African Americans are at issue, I think it’s significant, in more than a symbolic way, to have African Americans appear before the Supreme Court. And if it means giving 15 minutes more argument time or 20 minutes more argument time, it ought to be done, but the court hasn’t been able to find its way to do that yet.”
Shaw said that Black lawyers should be afforded unique opportunities to argue civil rights cases at the Supreme Court, and many Black lawyers are qualified to argue the more routine cases, as well.
“It’s even more important that we see African American and Latino lawyers in the solicitor general’s office appearing in the Supreme Court getting that kind of experience.”
To get that kind of experience at the Supreme Court, Arnwine said that it’s going to take purposeful action.
“First, the [United States solicitor general’s] office needs to be very deliberate when thinking about its own diversity and making sure that African Americans are thought to be a part of that office,” Arnwine said. “Secondly, the Supreme Court bar itself needs to be thinking about how they can mentor and help develop practitioners of color.”
Arnwine explained, “One thing about racial discrimination in America is that without purposeful and deliberate intervention, nothing changes.”