James Petras
March 26, 2016
The Unz Review

Introduction: Obama’s nomination of Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court marks a continuation and deepening of the lopsided ethno-religious representation in the US judicial system. If Garland is appointed, Jewish justices will comprise 45% of the Court, even though they represent less than 2% of the overall population.

Roman Catholics comprise the other 55% of the Court – even though they represent approximately 30% of the population. Protestants (historically the authors and signers of the country’s foundational documents, and the major confessional group) are totally absent from this august body of jurists.

Equally important the increasing power of Jewish justices on the Supreme Court is accelerating: Counting Garland, two of the last three appointments (67%) have been Jews.

In the first half of the 20th century in the US, progressive Jews and civil libertarians decried what they termed WASP (white Anglo-Saxon Protestant) exclusivity, privilege and discrimination, citing their domination of the Supreme Court and their ‘over-representation’ throughout the elite centers of power. Having totally displaced and replaced the dreaded WASPS, there is nary a word from the plethora of civil rights groups and Jewish organizations claiming to be concerned with issues of discrimination and exclusion. Perhaps the marginalized WASP population lacks any qualified jurists among their scores of millions, an ethno-cultural degeneration unique in US history or perhaps the last few WASPs appointed to the Supreme Court turned out to be among the most ardent and independent defenders of citizen rights, to the chagrin of numerous Administrations.

Nevertheless, if a rare individual should dare to raise the issue of nepotism and the exercise of narrow political considerations in the choice of Supreme Court nominees, the factious response is that ‘it’s all about merit’. Meaning, among the thousands of WASP graduates of the top law schools with academic awards and publications in prestigious journals, no qualified candidate can be found to address this lack of representation.

But scholarship and originality may not be of much merit: A brief perusal of the legal publications of Elena Kagan and Merrick Garland reveals meager, mediocre and pedestrian articles and monographs. In the case of Kagan, her rise to power was facilitated by her relationship with the former (and heartily voted out of office) Harvard President ‘Larry’ Summers, who appointed her Dean of the Law School despite her lack of quality publications. Summers, as Harvard President, led a raucous and bullying campaign against any academic critics Israeli policies during his abruptly abbreviated tenure in office.

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