Monday, June 15, 2009

Supreme Court will lack a rural voice


With the swirl of barbs and recriminations over Judge Sonia Sotomayor’s U.S. Supreme Court nomination centering on race, little attention is being paid to what is a glaring lack of representation on the high court: Rural America.

If Sotomayor is confirmed, she will break a barrier as the first Latino to be seated on the Supreme Court. But as she joins the court and Justice David Souter, who grew up in Weare, N.H., leaves, the Court’s collection of nine biographies will be decidedly urban, Eastern and heavy on Ivy League education.

Of the nine justices, only Clarence Thomas can lay claim to any real rural ties. He was born in Pin Point, Ga., a rural community founded by free slaves. But Thomas lived there for only six years (albeit without indoor plumbing) before his house burned and a grandfather took him to the nearby city of Savannah. Thomas’ wife is from Omaha, Neb., and as the Omaha World-Herald pointed out this weekend, he does know University of Nebraska Husker football.

The full story is published at The Daily

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