Ruth Marcus thinks that the female SCOTUS justices do. And she thinks it’s a good thing:

How did the Supreme Court manage to agree unanimously that police must obtain a warrant before searching cellphones, yet split on whether employers must offer contraception as part of their health care plans?

My explanation, slightly crude but perhaps compelling: All the justices, presumably, have cellphones. Only three have uteruses, and you know which way they voted.

This is hardly an isolated idea. It was inherent in Sotomayor’s statements about the superior judgment of a “wise Latina“:

And [Sotomayor] often said that she hoped those experiences would help her reach better judicial conclusions than someone without such a varied background might reach.

The line was almost identical every time:

“I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would, more often than not, reach a better conclusion.”

That sentence, or a similar one, has appeared in speeches Sotomayor delivered in 1994, 1999, 2002, 2004 and 2001. In that speech, she included the phrase “than a white male who hasn’t lived that life” at the end, which sparked cries of racism from some Republicans.

A similar notion about the superiority and importance of membership in a minority or other group officially designated as oppressed was strongly suggested in an execrable comment by Harry Reid (is there any other kind?) in connection with Hobby Lobby, about which I wrote:

More reaction from the left…My favorite (and I mean that in a sarcastic sense) is from none other than Harry Reid, our illustrious Majority Leader: “It’s time that five men on the Supreme Court stop deciding what happens to women.”

I’ve got a idea! Let’s pack the Court, and have an equal number of men and women on it, and then have the men decide cases that affect men and the women decide cases that affect women. What could go wrong?

I am almost sure that the left would applaud—except they’d probably add that although an all-woman judiciary for cases involving women made sense, cases involving men need the participation of women to make them fair.

And although this case doesn’t seem to be so closely related, nevertheless there is a connection, Black Prep School President Steps Down After Mocking White Classmates. The young woman involved is, after all, only following the example of her elders, and if she goes them one better in how overt she makes it—well, that’s what young people do. They build on the work of those who have gone before them. If Peterson saw her task as student-body president as representing her own special interest groups to the detriment of others—well, why wouldn’t she see it that way at this point?:

The most expensive prep school in the country, the Lawrenceville School, spent much of its spring semester mired in racial tensions as its first black student-body president was forced to step down for “mocking” white male students on Instagram…

“I understand why I hurt people’s feelings, but I didn’t become president to make sure rich white guys had more representation on campus,” [Maya] Peterson told BuzzFeed, which reported the story on Monday. “Let’s be honest. They’re not the ones that feel uncomfortable here.” Peterson graduated from Lawrenceville, a private school near Princeton, N.J., in June…

…[T]he Lawrenceville School — where annual tuition is around $53,000 and the student body is 55 percent white, 21 percent Asian, and 16 percent black/Hispanic — would not comment directly…

Peterson…told BuzzFeed that the controversy over her leadership started long before the Instagram photo, with cries from some students suggesting that the election she’d won had been fixed. She also notes that some of her initiatives as president — to institute a “diversity representative” on the student council board, and to create gender-neutral bathrooms, for example — were not well-received. She caught flak later in the year, she explains, for raising her fist in a “black power” salute along with several other students for a yearbook photo. But Peterson, a lesbian, says it was always her aim to reach out to minorities who often felt overlooked on campus. “The younger kids told me they felt comfortable opening up to me in a way they didn’t with other people,” she tells Buzzfeed…

“I’m not saying what I did was right,” Peterson told BuzzFeed. “But it wasn’t racist. I was just calling those guys exactly what they are. And Lawrenceville is the type of place where those kids are idolized.”

Kudos to Lawrenceville for recognizing this as racism, whether Maya Peterson knows it is or not. And she may not know it, even now, because so many of her elders have modeled this sort of behavior and told her it’s not only acceptable, it’s desirable.

[Featured image: separate images from Wikimedia Commons – Ginsburg, Kagan, Sotomayor]

[Neo-neocon is a writer with degrees in law and family therapy, who blogs at neo-neocon.]