Women and the Court
Members of the U.S. Supreme Court sit for a group portrait at the Supreme Court in Washington in this March 3, 2006 file photo. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

President Obama is expected to nominate a woman to replace retiring Justice David Souter. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is currently the sole woman on the Supreme Court. (AP Photo)

Any day now, Barack Obama will be announcing his choice for nominee to succeed David Souter on the U.S. Supreme Court. Speculation is high that it will be a woman.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg has said she’s “lonely” on the court. And at one level, it seems obvious that the court should have another woman. The world is half female.

But does a woman bring a special kind of jurisprudence to the bench? Is it the “quality of empathy” Obama says he wants? And what kind of woman? Hispanic? Straight? Gay? Elected?

This hour, On Point: Women, justice, and the Supreme Court.

You can join the conversation. Tell us what you think — here on this page, on Twitter, and on Facebook.


Joining us from Charlottesville, Va., is Dahlia Lithwick, senior editor and legal correspondent for Slate. She recently co-wrote  a piece with Hanna Rosin called “An Unnatural Woman,” looking at potential female nominees to the Supreme Court and issues of sexuality. She’s also written recently about the controversial idea of a female jurisprudence and the concept of judicial empathy.

From Washington, we’re joined by Hanna Rosin, a contributing editor at The Atlantic and a writer for Slate. She’s also a founding editor of “Double X,” a new women-focused Web magazine launching today.

And from Palo Alto, Calif., we’re joined by Deborah Rhode, professor at Stanford Law School. She’s a pioneering scholar on the field of gender and the law. She’s director of Stanford’s Center on the Legal Profession. Her latest book is “Women and Leadership: The State of Play and Strategies of Change.”

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