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« "Wal-Mart En Banc Session Packs House" | Main | Supreme Court denies rehearing in Meyer v. Sprint Spectrum »

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


Andrew Sussman

The offhand comment that the electorate discriminates against women because there's a smaller percentage of women in Congress than in the general population isn't either intuitively correct or supported by any data I know of. Not surprising, since the factors that go into deciding pretty much any election are numerous and wide-ranging -- and because the percentage of women that even run for national elective office is smaller than their percentage in the eligible population.

Kimberly A. Kralowec

The point is what did that question suggest about Judge Bea's thinking about the case?

As for the broader issue, gender-based discrimination is absolutely a reason we have fewer women in Congress. Our society has a legacy of such discrimination and it is still reflected in our elections. Just consider Hillary Clinton's experience in the presidential primary. Fewer women run for office in part because of that legacy; our society simply does not steer women toward political careers or support them along that path in the same way as men. Sexism is alive and well and it impacts our elections, make no mistake about it.

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