Justice Barrett and Affirmative Action
In Grutter v. Bollinger (2003), Justice O’Connor wrote, “We expect that 25 years from now, the use of racial preferences will no longer be necessary.” I never took this sentence–or really anything Justice O’Connor wrote–very seriously. And even if she was serious about that point, no one who joined her majority opinion remains on the Court. Yet, in the New York Times, Justin Driver suggests that the quarter-century countdown may provide affirmative action with a six-year stay of execution. For the reasons Ed Whelan explains, I find this possibility extremely unlikely.
Yet, there was one paragraph in Driver’s column that caught my eye. He suggests that Justice Barrett’s adopted children may affect her views on affirmative action:
Justice Barrett may also be less reflexively hostile to affirmative action than is widely assumed. Is it at least possible that her experience adopting and raising two Black children has made her more intimately attuned to the ugly persistence of racial discrimination than some of her colleagues? Although this notion may initially sound reductive, sophisticated empirical scholarship has demonstrated that judges who have daughters are more receptive to women’s rights claims than judges who have only sons. It would hardly be astonishing if a similar, perhaps subconscious, dynamic applied to jurists with Black children and claims of racial justice. In fact, Prof. Maya Sen, one of the authors of the study on judges and their children, said in an interview that adopting a child may affect a jurist’s worldview.
I have made this exact point in several Supreme Court term previews. To my knowledge, Judge Barrett
Article from Reason.com