Monday, June 19, 2006

Choose Your Judge By Color

According to the San Francisco Chronicle Open Forum section, “It’s Time to Address Lawyer’s Lack of Diversity.” Charts and statistics were presented showing that most lawyers and judges in California are white, while just over half the California population is not. Apparently liberals think that justice should not be color blind. They must think a black man should have black lawyers, a black judge, and a black jury. That a Latino should have a Latino lawyer, Latino judge, Latino jury; that an Asian should have…you get the picture.

But wait. We have Philippinas, Koreans, Japanese, Chinese, Vietnamese, Nepalese, and diverse others – shouldn’t each have their own diverse judiciary? Then there are Mexican, Guatemalan, El Salvadorian, Nicaraguan, Panamanian – and we still haven’t gotten to South America.

How do you draw the line on how much diversity is needed? No matter where you put it, someone is going to have hurt feelings. Unless you don’t put it anywhere, and just let natural legal forces map an ethical course. I would rather have an ethical judge than one who favored me because of my all-American Caucasian features, which tend towards the appearance of an Englishman. What if I got an Irish judge when I was being sued by Patrick Murphy?

Since this is the San Francisco Bay Area, the article also notes an emerging problem with the status of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender attorneys. What that problem would be I haven’t a clue, and I don’t want to know. Do they learn different law? Do these diverse attorneys and judges find litigants more or less worthy because of their ethnic or sexual status? If any do, including first, last, and always the white ones now a majority at the California bar, they should be forthwith disbarred. Ethics (and competence) over diversity any day.

But according to the authors of this cry for lawyer diversity, “We must adapt or become irrelevant to our clients and the community at large.”

How to adapt? “The first step to any meaningful change is serious self-examination. With this goal, the Santa Clara County Bar Association has appointed a blue-ribbon commission to address diversity issues in the legal profession in the Silicon Valley. Our society is changing and innovating, and the legal profession must begin to move to meet the demographic, business and professional demands of the future.”

Translation. They don’t have a clue.

However, I’ll bet that at some point they will put out a demand for lower standards for minorities in law schools and the professions. They will say, without blushing, and without saying “affirmative action,” that what the legal profession needs is less educated, less capable lawyers, who should be selected, compensated, and promoted at a higher rate than their white colleagues. The legal profession will fall all over themselves loving the idea, and trust that the Supreme Court, basic economics, and common sense will save them from themselves.

Meanwhile, the most capable of the minorities, for example the Chinese and other Asian ethnic groups that place a high value on education, will continue to ignore the legal profession and go into science, medicine, electronics, engineering, and other high-paying, hard-subject matter professions. And pray when they have to go to court that their judge didn’t get put on the bench through an affirmative action program, and resents that all the top students he competed against before law school were Asians.

In all the concern for ethnic, sexual, and gender diversity, there is one glaring omission. There is never a call for political diversity, even though almost all educators and journalists are liberals, and most of them are Democrats. Further, almost all defense attorneys, regardless of ethnicity, pledge their lives, fortunes, and their sacred honor to the Democratic party, lest the specter of tort reform raise its fearful head above the land.

Wow, a defense attorney contributing to a Republican, that would be a real diversity breakthrough!

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