tv QA Author Renee Knake Jefferson on Supreme Court Nominee Ketanji Brown... CSPAN March 14, 2022 5:59am-6:59am EDT
>> i am pleased to nominate judge jackson, who will bring extraordinary qualifications, deep experience, and a rigorous judicial record. >> as it happens, i share a birthday with the first black woman ever to be appointed as a federal judge. the honorable constance baker motley. we were born exactly 49 years to the day apart. today, i probably stand -- proudly stand on judge motley's shoulders, sharing not only her birthday, but also her steadfast and courageous commitment to equal justice under law. judge motley's life and career have been a true inspiration to me, as i have pursued this professional path. susan: what are your thoughts
on the significance of this announcement? renee: it's a long time coming. we have had black women on presidents shortlists ever since women were allowed to join the supreme court, 1981, when ronald reagan gave us the first female supreme court justice. i have learned in my research that women were shortlisted decades before that. it's an exciting moment. susan: additionally, it is confirmed she will bring the total of female justices to for which is as close to parity as you can get. what is the significance of this? renee: the first time ever, the nation will see four women justices providing -- presiding at the same time.
it's important, because we will no longer have one woman or a few, but for a long time, sounder day o'connor was the only woman on the court. she was expected to bring the women's perspective. she said, when she was nominated and confirmed, that she was honored and excited to be the first but she did not want to be the last. what we are about to see is that women have all sorts of different perspectives and experiences, views, and it matters for how cases are decided at the supreme court, but it also matters because it is such a publicly high-profile role. the public will begin to appreciate that women in professional life can also have this wide range of diversity, not just in terms of race and gender, but life experiences, views on issues and beyond.
susan: how does the united states compare with other western democracies in this topic? renee: we lag behind. i will say, that is with respect to the supreme court. our state courts do much better. it's very exciting, we will have four women sitting on the u.s. of import. still not a majority. it is one step closer. we have never had a female chief justice. state courts do much better. there have been numerous chief justices of state supreme courts . the supreme court has lag behind, and this will bring it one step closer to better reflecting the public concerns. susan: maybe you could build on that. public polling is often mixed, sometimes the majority say it
should not matter, and the chief justice referred to the job of the justice as being calling balls and strikes. why does gender or racial diversity make a difference in the high court? renee: there are a few reasons. with this appointment, it's not going to change the 6-3 conservative majority, the ideological divide. diversity matters well beyond just that particular makeup at this moment in time. it matters for institutional legitimacy. the supreme court has its power and authority because the public believes in it. the public is more likely to view it as a credible institution, legitimate institution, if it reflects the public it serves. it also matters because this will inspire young girls, young black girls with the nomination
of judge jackson, hopefully soon to be justice jackson. importantly, aspire to and know that they can attain the highest pinnacle of their professional choice, whether it's the united states supreme or a different profession. it also matters because it makes a difference in terms of how cases are decided. we know that because justices talk about it. ruth bader ginsburg said she would bring the perspective of a woman into the discussions that the justices would have about the cases. one of the most notable involve the strip search of a young teenage girl. she talked publicly about the fact that she was able to help the justices, the male justices understand why that would be a
sensitive time for a woman. it matters for all of these reasons. there are multiple waiters to the significance of this, and it is important for the court to have justices that more accurately reflect the public it serves. not that any justices going to decide a case a certain way, but white men have represented every perspective, religion, political divide for most of this nation's history on the u.s. supreme court. it's time for women to have the opportunity to represent that diversity. susan: during her confirmation hearings, sonia sotomayor's diversity, the first latina to the court was an issue for some senators. [video clip] >> have you ever seen a case where the wise latina made a better decision?
>> i was using a rhetorical that harkens back to justice o'connor. justice o'connor was part of a court in which she greatly respected her colleagues, and yet those wise men, i will not use the other word, and wise women, did reach different conclusions in deciding cases. the words i chose, the rhetorical flourish, was a bad idea. susan: in hindsight, how did you process that exchange? renee: it surprised me she was asked about it at all. i shouldn't say it surprised me, i have conducted extensive media studies where i looked at the coverage, and i'm not blaming the nominees, the coverage
reflecting the public acceptance of nominations of justice kagan and sao tome are. in fact, women experience more scrutiny based on their gender than men. on the one hand, i'm not surprised -- it should not have been received in the way it was in terms of being perceived as a negative against her. in fact, justice alito talked about in his hearings that in his experience, his italian heritage informed the way he viewed immigration cases, and he said he thought about his ancestors and background and heritage when he decided cases. that's an example where what is viewed as perhaps a neutral, for a male nominee to be making,
maybe it's even considered a plus on his side, a similar kind of comment made by justice sotomayor or the subject to attack. susan: a couple more questions on core diversity. if confirmed, judge jackson will bring her record as a public defender and serving on the sentencing commission. unlike any other justices. what does this perspective bring to the court to mark -- to the court? renee: i'm glad u.s. this question. the background is important, her work as a public defender matters because public defenders are the lawyers who represent individuals facing criminal charges who can't afford a lawyer of their own. it's a different perspective than anyone else on the courthouse. the last justice with that background was thurgood marshall.
her work in that role, and also on the sentencing commission is going to give her keen insight into the criminal justice process, and she also has a family member who has been incarcerated. she has that life experience. i think that will be an important perspective that she could bring to bear as the court faces criminal justice issues. susan: you often hear discussions about the legal training of the people that are nominated, coming from the last couple of decades from ivy league law schools. you teach at the university of houston, and i'm wondering what your thought is on that sort of diversity and the necessity of bringing people from other institutions. renee: i think it's an important factor. it was notable to me that justice barrett was not from that same cohort. it's not just something i
noticed. presidents in previous administrations are looked at by all sorts of measures of diversity, even if they aren't focused on gender. there were a good geography. we don't have much diversity in terms of geography on the current supreme court, although the justices grew up under different types of circumstances in their childhoods, most of them grew up inside or nearby major metropolitan areas. new york, d.c.. to your point, and terms of educational diversity, that's why there was some boosting of another potential nominee on the short list, because she has her education from public schooling, her law degree and undergraduate degree. i think that diversity is important.
there is nothing that says a supreme court justice have to graduate from an ivy league school. i hope that president biden is able to bring more women on his short list that they are thinking about diversity beyond just race and gender for the court. but also, geography and educational background. importantly, the law practice experience that addresses has had before they come to the court. susan: i wanted to talk about judge michelle childs and the other name that was floated, leandra kruger. if you were to write a book in the future, with a be on your shortlist by definition? we don't know if president biden -- renee: that's a great question. how did you know who is on the shortlist? for our purposes, we determined
it was the president's official shortlist if i could find the actual list written up in president archives, so i spent many years digging through the papers of presidents reagan, beyond. or, if it was reported in the media as an official shortlist, that was in the case of nixon. his list was leaked to the media. of course, her president biden and president obama, i was not able to get into their papers. they have not been made publicly available. in terms of the shortlist, i think the names that have rose to the top so repeatedly in the three we are talking about must have been on the shortlist. i believe it to a future scholar who will have the ability to go through his archives and find
out whether or not there was -- in some administrations, there was not a physical piece of paper. susan: would your research indicate what careers would like -- would be like for these judges after being floated in the net -- and then not getting denied? -- that nod? renee: good question. for some women who have been nominated or publicly floated, that increased scrutiny is especially harsh. in the book in particular, one woman who made it off the shortlist was harriet miers. the public scrutiny was extremely damaging for her, although i think her career went on to be fine. the public commentary and coverage, much of it quite unfounded. if you look at her credentials, they were quite similar to justice powell.
they had both been president of the bar association. she had a grueling and highly gendered, inappropriate media coverage of her. i think that reflects something that is a lesson we learned and include in our paperback edition which came out this year. after the original book came out, and talking about it, we had the opportunity to get advice from individuals who have gone through this asset. one piece that came up again and again, if you are going to be vetted in this public way, you want assurances that even if you aren't chosen, you can come away with more opportunities.
from the outside looking in, i believe biden treated them with respect, and held them out in no way that hopefully they will be no worse off for being named as part of his shortlist. susan: you reference the research you and your co-author did on this topic. how did you get started? renee: right question. we were observing the gendered media coverage with the nominations of justice kagan and sotomayor. the comment about justice sotomayor being the wise latina, that being taken out of context and used against her. that was the least of it. the headlines were focusing on the fact they were both single, they did not have children. who would accompany them to
dinners. would they have dates? the nation would have its first bachelorette. comments on their clothing, questioning sexuality. as academics, we have privilege and the ability to study and examine things. so instead of just rolling our eyes, we started to study it. we conducted an investigation looking at every article the new york times and washington post had written about the supreme nominee from the 1970's through the confirmation of sotomayor and kagan. that could be a topic of a whole other conversation, but in that research, we found one article that led to the creation of this book. the article we found was written in 1971. it appeared in the new york times, when president nixon was filling not one but two vacancies on the supreme.
the article listed six names. two of them were women. a judge in washington, d.c., and a judge in california. the article describes their qualifications and also described one judge as having maintained her bathing beauty figure in her 50's. that fit into the thesis of our media study that women receive this more gendered coverage, but that is not why it was so interesting to me. i wondered, who is she? why have i never heard of these women's names in a high school history class, even in a loss goal feminism -- law school feminism class. i also had no idea that presidents had been considering women before sandra day o'connor. not to take away from sandra day
o'connor at all, but as it turns out, we set out to research it, there were seven others. a total of nine. as it turns out, there were nine women shortlisted. susan: you talked about how difficult it was to find this. there is no requirement for presidents to be transparent. how did you actually discover some of these, especially the older presidents? how did you find what you are looking for? renee: it's a real shift. now, presidents are quite transparent. president was perhaps the most transparent. you can go to whitehouse.gov and see his shortlist. it wasn't until i would say nixon and then reagan that the shortlist was used in this more political way. to say more about nixon, he had
two women on his shortlist, but he had no intention of appointing either one of them. i have listened to the oval office tapes. it meant literally going into residential archives -- presidential archives and digging through files of letters, memos. listening to tapes, reading memoirs. listening to nixon's oval office tapes, he didn't -- he would say things like he didn't think women should be allowed to vote. that is why he was willing to put two women on his shortlist. afterwards, he selected justices rehnquist and powell. at least we considered women this time. this was something we discovered.
to be selected, you have to be on the shortlist. sometimes they can be used to create the commitment to diversity while preserving the status quo. susan: we dug into the nixon tapes as well. i have one for you to listen to, with president nixon talking to the attorney general. two different calls from october of 1971. [audio clip] >> so far it is on track. >> it will make you feel happy that you are the attorney general to make that first recommendation. how proud you can be back in your old college in new york. >> [indiscernible] >> thank you.
>> this looks great. >> she's got a good personality. good standing with the law and order people. susan: what do you think? what to be learn about richard nixon? renee: i listens to those as well in my research, and i was being generous when i was only describing him as thinking women shouldn't vote. i think it just exemplifies one of the concerns that we unpack in our books. on the surface, an organization or individual appears to be committed to diversity, but in
fact they loot -- use a public facing shortlist to preserve the status quo. the challenge and what we have done in our research is to look at the ways these women, even though they were shortlisted and never made it on, in order to get to the point where they were even being considered by the president, it's horrible to say this, even to be considered, she was incredibly accomplished. we draw lessons from these women's lives in terms of how they navigated such explicit prejudice against them in order to still succeed, and use that as strategies for the continued bias, sometimes not as obvious as what the early women face,
but yet, still meeting to be addressed. susan: in the wake of judge jackson's nomination, you're telling of the story of a federal judge made several news reports. she is still with us, she is 80 or. -- 84. what is her story? renee: again, we had no idea what we would find when we set out to uncover how many women had been shortlisted. as it turns out, there are nine. of those nine, there is one minority women. the first black female to be appointed to a federal court of appeals, the second circuit. we feel like that is reflective of the additional burdens and barriers that minority women, especially black women face. she was not only shortlisted by president reagan for the seat
that went to o'connor, but he shortlisted her again. reagan could have given us more than one woman on the court. she was shortlisted for the seat ultimately went to justice kennedy. she was shortlisted again, her name was voted -- floated when the nomination of clarence thomas was at risk of not going forward. she was suggested as a possible solution to president george w. bush at that time. and she was shortlisted again by president clinton for the very seat that justice breyer is now retiring on. -- from. finally, decades later it will go to a black woman. she was an incredibly successful black, female attorney at a time when women were regularly told that they could not have a job
because there were not facilities for women. there weren't bathrooms or an appropriate place for women to be in professional life. she was the first female partner at a prominent new york law firm. she was a part of president carter's -- every president handles how they select judges differently, both to the supreme and lower court. when carter came to office he existed -- issued an executive order. these panels were charged with venting judicial nominees. the panels themselves were diverse in makeup, they were tasked with diversifying who they were interviewing for judgeships, and more importantly, one of the qualifications they were looking for where the demonstrated
commitments to diversity. susan: i am curious about what the nomination, i am sorry, the consideration says about the nomination process today and how it has evolved. renee: it is certainly more partisan today. although it was not that long ago that we saw this similar sort, justice sotomayor was originally a bush appointee on a lower federal work and then -- federal court, and president obama put her on the u.s. supreme court. in some ways, it's not that long ago that the selection of justices was not so very partisan.
but, i think what it says more than anything is this is a woman who is extraordinarily well all applied -- qualified and should have been on the supreme word. we should -- that five this narrative that suggests somehow the nomination for judge jackson is affirmative action, or the idea that there has not been a qualified pool of black women to sit on courts. there has, it's just been overcoming sometimes explicit and implicit prejudices and biases. susan: in our opening clip, we heard judge jackson give credit to a federal judge who inspired her.
she passed away in 2005, african-american judge. did she ever make a short list? renee: she absolutely had her name floated by various groups as being someone who would be deserving for a supreme court nomination. there are a couple of pieces to that. it is interesting to me, her current trajectory is similar to thurgood marshall. thurgood marshall went from his civil rights work to launching into the second circuit, then onto the u.s. supreme oil. -- supreme court. that should have placed judge motley in that same trajectory. many thought she would be appointed to the second circuit.
but, that was not in the cards in terms of anything a particular president was determined to do at any moment where they faced a vacancy. part of that has to do with her race, and also being a female, that she had the same credentials as thurgood marshall and yet was viewed as being too liberal, too much of a civil rights advocate, even though that was not at all reflected in her decision-making. as a counterpoint, it's interesting to compare. someone have said the second circuit seat belongs to motley. when she was appointed, one of
the interesting things about going through these archives is not just seeing what the president and advisers are doing, but reading the onslaught of mail and telegrams the president is receiving. there was some pushback from civil rights groups that judge pierce might not be represented in that way. i have to think some balancing and calculation going on behind the scenes to be sure, but a lot of that does not have to do with qualifications because they were exceedingly qualified, and ready, and prepared. and they were held back for reasons that have nothing to do with qualifications. susan: president biden was criticized in some quarters for promising to name a black woman to the court. supporters of this notion pointed back to ronald reagan
where he explicitly promised to appoint a woman. what are the historical parallels? renee: it's absolutely right that biden is not the first president to limit his selection to a particular demographic. ronald reagan is most famous because he campaigned on the promise to give the nation its first female supreme court justice. he campaigned on that promise because, his record on women was terrible. he had not appointed very many women judges as a governor in california, did not support the equal rights amendment, and he was running against our president -- carter, we talked about his selection process. carter put more women on federal courts as judges then all presidents combined before him.
other presidents have looked at demographics when they are selecting a particular justice, whether it is geography, religion. that is not unusual, even if it's not as publicly known. susan: your book suggests that judge o'connor was scrutinized more heavily because of her lack of federal experience. she came from the arizona state courts. would you explain where the criticism came from, and what were the concerns? renee: i don't know if the concerns were well-founded. the concerns were she did not have federal experience or number of years as a judge as her male counterparts.
i actually see it as a plus side , that she brought the diversity of notching -- being just the judge on a state court, but she was elected to the arizona legislature. she brought some geographic diversity. when she was selected, there were five women on his short list. cornelia kennedy was a judge on the sixth circuit at the time. the consideration of the two of them, the interview process, details are really interesting. in the case of o'connor, advisers flew out to arizona to be with her. she prepared them a meal and hosted them. i was right after she had a
surgery. i can't imagine that was easy for her to do. she would have been a traditional female in the vetting process. kennedy flew to washington, d.c. . she went on her own. i don't know if that was the dealbreaker, that contrast, but it's interesting to think about the just a position. then, the later questioning and speculation in contrast to justices o'connor and ruth bader ginsburg, who were both mothers, in traditional marriages. part of the resistance i think we saw in the nominations of
kagan and sotomayor, the questioning i alluded to earlier, their single status. with sink leak -- simply because the stereotype of what a female justice should be have been limited to a very specific experience with o'connor and ginsberg. susan: we have about 20 minutes left. you tell the story of nine women who were shortlisted. justice o'connor faced gender discrimination on the court. very personal stories about some of these experiences. can you relay some of those? renee: b. it's true for all women, in the
case of o'connor, the mr. had been pulled down. in part from an interaction at a moot court competition which caused them to reflect on may be a should take mr. off the justice. there is not a bathroom facility for her. all the justices have service assignments. she was given the assignment with dealing with the cafeteria. a range of things that might seem subtle but we find very problematic and concerning. she was not the first judge to face explicit barriers. if we could take a moment, the
first woman to show up was a woman who was the first female justice on the ohio supreme court which she was elected to. she helped women secure the right to vote. then she turned around and asked, they delivered. in 1934, president roosevelt put her on the sixth circuit federal court of appeals. there was no bathroom for her, they had to secure federal funding to build one. the reports of the media coverage, some male colleagues fellow -- fell ill over the idea of presiding over cases with the woman. this extreme bias and discrimination. her male colleagues would dine at an all-male dining club the entire time she sat on the
circuit. she used the hotplate in her chambers. she was considered by roosevelt. cornelia kennedy was appointed to the six circuit and florence allen gave her the hot plate. cornelia kennedy convinced her colleagues that was time to let her join and she was allowed to dine with the male judges, but she kept that hotplate in her chambers the entire time to remind everyone of the very explicit barriers to even the presence of a woman in professional life. susan: that would seem to have
significance on your ability to do your job. i am sure that was more than camaraderie, they probably discussed cases. renee: absolutely. it's the sort of thing, we can talk about that happening and maybe we find that outrageous, but it's a dynamic that we write about. we noted a number of studies from the #metoo movement, where some of the backlash was we will not include women. that can't be the solution. to your point, that is where a lot of work is done. whether you are a judge in deciding cases or are in professional life generally. susan: in judge florence allen's
case, you're right she had a vocal opponent in eleanor roosevelt. first ladies come up all the time and you telling stories to convince their husbands. was there any success you can point to? do we know if nancy reagan was a proponent? renee: that's a great question about nancy reagan. i don't know the answer to that. maybe she did not have to be as vocal as some other first ladies because he was committing to deliver the first female before he even had the opportunity to do it. in the case of florence allen, eleanor roosevelt -- i don't know if she would have been appointed to the sixth circuit court of appeals in 1934. interestingly enough, we were talking about nixon, nixon was not taking the idea of a woman on the court seriously, but he was hearing about it from notches his wife, but also his
daughters, who wanted to see him appoint the first woman, and discuss their feelings with him over dinner about their disappointment. susan: in harry truman's presidency, the chief justice was fred vinson. you write that he was the big stumbling block to a woman joining the court. how so? renee: he did not want to have to preside over cases if the woman was present. susan: couple more stories. the nomination of ruth bader ginsburg. there were accolades from all quarters about some of her legacy. you write in 1992, both liberal and conservative groups had reservations. renee: i think we forget that
she was actually considered quite conservative comparatively. she certainly was not the notorious rpg in any way. there was concern from women's rights groups that she would not be as vocal a champion as they would want. of course, that's not how it played out, which is not unusual for a supreme court justice -- it's a lifetime appointment. even though the lower federal courts are also lifetime, judges have to be mindful they can be reversed or maybe they want to be elevated in the future. in the supreme court that is not the case. justices do change in their philosophies and the way they handle cases. she is a great example, and when i think we forget now, because
we know her so much as not just the incredible justice she was, but this cultural icon, incredible symbol of progressive, radical feminism. that was not at all who she was or how she was viewed when clinton selected her. susan: did president clinton seriously consider a second female nomination? renee: in terms of serious consideration, it is hard to know. for clinton, we don't have access to his archives. getting into the behind-the-scenes, how people were being vetted, we rely primarily on autobiographies, interviews that were done by his high-level advisors, or figuring out the short list.
in the case of justice breyer -- how seriously was she considered, seriously enough to be in the mix. it does seem that until obama, presidents were content to check the woman box by appointing one, but not more than one. susan: why didn't george w. bush's nomination -- why did the nomination fail? renee: is there any one reason, i don't know i can tell you that. i can say clearly that looking at her qualifications, she had a background that was not dissimilar to justice powell. she certainly was qualified based on her experience of having been the head of the head of a law firm, having worked for
many years as a lawyer in the white house, president of the bar association. the media's coverage of her was extremely gendered. talking about everything from her hairstyle as a high school girl to her size six shoes, the car she drove, her girls night out with condi rice. just feeding into stereotypes of a young girl without experience which was 100% not what she was. she was a well seasoned lawyer with incredible experience. i have to think that part of that had to be why she ultimately -- maybe she would have been confirmed, we will never know the answer to that. she withdrew after three weeks
of consideration. recall that in the book a self shortlisting. sometimes, highly qualified women are not willing to put themselves out there. another example is carla hills who was the secretary of housing and urban development under president ford. he asked her, would you like to be a supreme court justice? she said no. she did not want to be on the shortlist. he kept her on it, but she did not want to do it. that is perhaps why she was never selected. susan: when did the tradition of the american bar association ratings come into play in supreme court nominations, and second questions, did you see indications of bias in the work they did? renee: yes. the aba rating process began in
the eisenhower presidency. he was looking for outside advice to help bring ideas in. there is a turning point with reagan. before reagan, the aba would be involved in the process before the president announced who the ultimate choice was. to go back to nixon's shortlist, the aba rated judge lily as unqualified, even though on paper years later, nixon's white house counsel took her resume and sandra day o'connor's resume and said quite publicly that lily was as qualified. it was widely known that the aba system was discriminating against women, minority women. reagan did not go through a
similar process. in more recent history, the aba has gone from having a part of its institution that was holding women back to being a much better champion of women. also in the process, the aba does not weigh in until after the nominee is announced. there wasn't this behind the scenes vetting of haydn's list in the same way that would have occurred decades ago. i anticipate ketanji brown jackson is well-qualified when they do her rating. susan: in anticipating the upcoming hearings, let's look back to 2020 with the confirmation of amy coney barrett. [video clip] >> there is a question that comes up in questions --
discussions with my constituents that is more basic and personal. they want to know how you do it. how do you and your husband managed to full-time professional careers, and at the same time take care of your large family? i bet there are many young women like my own two daughters who marble at the balance you have achieved between your personal and professional life. susan: as an example of questioning, how does this stack up? renee: it's not as bad as another question she got from senator kennedy which was who does the laundry in your house? it's not the kind of question we see for male nominees who also have children, some have many children. the late justice scalia had nine children. large family and not repeatedly
grilled over who does the chores. on one hand, it reflects the reality that more often than not , women are the primary caregivers in a household situation. whether it is young children, elderly parents. it's important to acknowledge this. i don't think a confirmation hearing is the place to necessarily use that amongst how we are vetting who is qualified. it's questions like that that suggest somehow she or another
nominee would be not as qualified if they did not achieve that balance in terms of their caregiving roles. instead, the focus should be, is she able to do the job as a justice? susan: what will you be watching for in the confirmation hearings of judge jackson? renee: well, i will be optimistically hoping they will focus on her incredible altercations -- qualifications. this is not the first time she has been through this process. she was confirmed by this very senate about a year ago. already, we are seeing commentary that is highly inappropriate. the piece that is being tossed around the most, the question about her else outscore -- lsat score. the lsat is a law school
admissions exam that is mostly word puzzles and reading comprehension, it would be like asking what is her world statistic -- wordle statistics. that to me is problematic, because on the surface it suggests he is asking about her qualification, but no former justice before has ever been subjected to that kind of estimate -- questioning, tells me it's racist and sexist and its origins. i hope we don't see more questions like that. my hope is the senate will focus on her qualifications, and it will be interesting to see that she also is a working mother. will that be something senators
draw out here or not? to be sure, it is something she has been willing to talk about publicly. as i said, it is not that we should not talk about the realities that the primary caregivers in households face. it is that we should talk about them in a context that is appropriate to do so. not when someone is being vetted for their professional position. the way judge jackson has talked about it, being invited to speak at a university setting and talk about how she has navigated her career. susan: two last questions. the u.s. solicitor general -- does this render the elevation of women to the federal justice system mood? -- moot? renee: no. [laughter]
it is wonderful we have a female as solicitor general, because we now hear more women's voices. even there, when you look at the number of women who are doing oral argument in the supreme court, it's dwarfed by the number of men. we do not have a majority of women on the supreme court. we are doing better, but this is certainly not enough. i hope it is only the beginning of a continued effort to make sure that not just the supreme court, but the federal judiciary and justice system, all of the actors better reflect the public it serves. susan: if the statistics hold, more than 50% of law school students are women. if that's the case, what is the most effective way to widen the pipeline for women? renee: we can take a page out of president carter's playbook. not all of us are able to issue an executive order, but the way
he changed the selection of judges, to diversify the federal bench in ways that had never been seen. president biden may come close to doing so. having a process in place where the decision-makers are diverse, it's a diverse candidate pool. importantly, having a commitment to diversity be a part of the qualifications we are looking for. those are all concrete steps that can be taken not just how we select our judges, but anyone who is in a position of vetting someone for a leadership position. susan: the book is called "shortlisted." we just spent an hour with one of the two co-authors. thank you so much for spending some time with c-span, its
women's history month, and in anticipation of supreme court nomination hearings. thank you for your time. renee: thank you. ♪ >> all q&a programs are available on our website or as a podcast on our c-span now after. -- app. >> c-span is your unfiltered view of government. we are funded by these television companies and more including cox. cox supports c-span as a public service.
>> this week on the c-span network. both chambers of congress are in session. the house votes to revoke russell's permanent normal trade relations in response to its ongoing invasion of ukraine. they will also take up the emergency coronavirus pandemic relief bill. today on c-span. poland's foreign minister who is the organization for security and cooperation in europe leads the you and security counsel. tuesday at 10:00 a.m. eastern on c-span. state department officials testify on the rise and authoritarianism around the globe.