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Conference on the Judiciary in Territorially and Culturally Compound Systems: Organization and Functions, Trento, May 7-8, 2015


This paper is about diversity in federal and state courts in the United States. My main argument is that we should promote a judiciary that is reflective of the society of which it is a part for three reasons: first, because in doing so, we gain critical awareness of barriers to judicial service; second, because in doing so, we are also promoting access to resources, education and opportunities in the legal profession; and third, because it is possible (although not automatic) that a reflective judiciary will broaden the range of experience and perspective on the matters involved in the cases themselves. I will focus primarily on the first and second of these points, with some attention to individual judges in the paper’s closing section.


This essay will appear in JURISDICTION AND PLURALISMS: THE TEMPTATIONS OF A REFLECTIVE JUDICIARY. New York: Routledge, Forthcoming 2017.