Democrats Push for More Black Supreme Court Clerks

Justice Thomas says Hispanics and blacks don't show up in great numbers in the pool of applicants.

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By Paul Bedard, Washington Whispers

Elena Kagan might be a Democratic fave to win the seat on the U.S. Supreme Court being vacated by Justice John Paul Stevens. But if the white, Jewish, Ivy-educated woman were applying for a top court clerk post, like the job she once held with Justice Thurgood Marshall, she might have a much harder time of it. That's because Democrats are pushing the court to hire more black and Hispanic law clerks. The issue got heated at a recent House hearing when Justice Clarence Thomas said, "the reality is that Hispanics and blacks don't show up in any great numbers" in the pool of clerks that justices choose from. California Democratic Rep. Barbara Lee said the court should expand the pool, which Thomas rejected, prompting the lawmaker to suggest that Thomas's conservative decisions have "shut out" black and Hispanics from law school. Thomas didn't react.

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