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7 Black Women We'd Love to See on the Supreme Court


Since Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia's death weeks ago,  there's been speculation about when and if a replacement will be nominated. In typical obstructionist fashion, right-wingers have insisted that President Obama should not leave the position vacant and allow his successor to fill the role. This is, of course, nonsense. We hope the president announces his pick soon, and we certainly hope that pick a Black woman. President Obama has already successfully appointed two women, Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor, to the court. In the court's history, a Black woman has never been nominated, and it's time for that to change. Here are the women on our short list.
Michelle Alexander
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With a single book, Michelle Alexander changed mainstream discourse on Black politics and mainstream justice policy. The New Jim Crow:  Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness exposed the systematic herding of Black men into the prison industrial complex. The Stanford Law School Graduate is a professor of law at the Ohio State University. Alexander continues to use her voice to raise concerns about current presidential candidates.

Kamala Harris
Kamala Harris broke barriers in 2010 when she became the first woman, first African-American and first South Asian-American to be elected Attorney General of California. Harris has already made the gun lobby angry with her support of more stringent background checks and longer wait periods. She is currently running for an open senate seat in her home state.

Sherrilyn Ifill
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Sherrilyn Ifill is the president and director-counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, a group created, officially, by Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall. With the group, she's argued voting rights cases. While at the University of Maryland law school, she encouraged students to pursue environmental justice cases and held civil rights law clinics. According to the LDF's website, she's currently working on a book about race and the supreme court hearings.
Kimberlé Crenshaw
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A graduate of Cornell, Harvard, and the University of Wisconsin, Kimberlé Crenshaw is a pioneering race scholar in critical race studies and constitutional law. She's considered a founder of Critical Race Theory, and in her work, the term "intersectionality" was first named. She currently holds professorships at UCLA and Columbia. Currently, she works to advance visibility and justice for issues affecting women and girls of color via the African American Policy Forum.

Marilyn Mosby
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At 36 years old, Baltimore's Marilyn Mosby is the youngest chief prosecutor in any major city. Mosby is a first generation college graduate who graduated magna cum laude from Tuskegee University. She's clerked in the U.S. Attorney's Office in Massachussetts and the District of Columbia. She came to prominence in the weeks after the killing of Freddie Gray. Mosby's swift action to charge the officers responsible made her an immediate hero.

Loretta Lynch
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Loretta Lynch is the 83rd Attorney General of the United States. She is a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School. In the 90s, she practiced at the United States Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of New York where she prosecuted civil rights case like that of Abner Louima, the Haitian immigrant who was sexually assaulted by uniformed police officers in a Brooklyn police precinct in 1997. She later headed the United States Attorney's Office

Anita Hill
Don Emmert/AFP
Anita Hill likely has no desire to sit on the bench with the man who sexually harassed her and who is responsible for upending her life, but before she came to prominence in the 1991 hearings of Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas, Hill, who is a graduate of Yale Law School, was a law professor at the University of Oklahoma. She resigned after years of harassment in 1997 and went on to join the faculty of Brandeis University where she teaches currently.

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