President Obama and the Supremes: Obama's Legacy – The Rise of Women's Voices on the Court

33 Pages Posted: 30 Aug 2017 Last revised: 30 Oct 2017

See all articles by Taunya Lovell Banks

Taunya Lovell Banks

University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law

Date Written: May 31, 2017

Abstract

For approximately two hundred years, all of the United States Supreme Court justices were male. Now there are three women on the Court, two appointed during the administration of President Barack Obama. With the appointment of Justices Sotomayor and Kagan to the Court, women’s voices literally are more prominent, especially during oral argument. This article speculates on whether the presence of these three women on the Court will influence the substance of decisions. It asks whether we are witnessing the emergence of a definable “women’s” voice, in the collective sense, or whether there is simply a greater representation of women on the Court; women justices, who like their male counterparts, sometimes agree and sometimes do not. In addition, this article asks whether the reaction of some commentators, and male justices, to the increased participation of women justices during oral argument suggests implicit gender bias, another possible by-product of President Obama’s legacy.

Keywords: Supreme Court, Women Justices, Female Justices, sotomayor, Kagan, Ginsburg, O'Connor, Interruption, Empirical Analysis, Voting Patterns, Oral Argument

Suggested Citation

Banks, Taunya Lovell, President Obama and the Supremes: Obama's Legacy – The Rise of Women's Voices on the Court (May 31, 2017). 65 Drake Law Review 911 (2017); U of Maryland Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2017-26. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3028376

Taunya Lovell Banks (Contact Author)

University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law ( email )

500 West Baltimore Street
Baltimore, MD 21201-1786
United States

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