That's the title of an editorial in today's New York Times about the federal judiciary. Here's the beginning:
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, in a dissent from a 2007 Supreme Court decision that made it harder for women to sue employers for pay discrimination, suggested that the court’s majority was not in “tune with the realities of the workplace.” Her background as general counsel to the American Civil Liberties Union, where she had co-founded the Women’s Rights Project in 1972, surely informed her thinking. Unfortunately, that kind of experience is both less common and more controversial on the federal bench today. If she were being considered for a seat on the court these days, Justice Ginsburg told an audience in 2011, “my A.C.L.U. connection would probably disqualify me.”
But even though some senators think it’s politically incorrect to say so, a judge’s experience and personal history are, at times, critical to how she or he approaches the job. Given this reality, the makeup of the judiciary should reflect as much as possible the public whose cases come before it. For a long time, most of the attention to increasing diversity has focused on race, ethnicity and gender, where progress has been slow but incremental.
Equally important is diversity of professional experience, which gets less attention. Regrettably, under the Obama administration, federal judges continue to be drawn overwhelmingly from the ranks of prosecutors and corporate lawyers. This deprives the courts of crucial perspectives and reduces public trust in the justice system.
The editorial references a report issued earlier this week by the Alliance for Justice, Broadening the Bench: Judicial Nominations and Professional Diversity.
Earlier coverage of judicial nominations and confirmations begins at the link. There's much more on the topic at the Judicial Nominations and Judicial Selection Project websites.