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High Court Chatter Focuses On Women

Publication Date: 
May 02, 2009
The New York Times
Charlie Savage

Professor Deborah L. Rhode is quoted and Professor and former Dean Kathleen M. Sullivan is mentioned in a New York Times article that examines the likelihood of a female being the most likely replacement for the departing Supreme Court Justice David Souter:

Today, as President Obama moves to pick his first Supreme Court nominee as a successor to retiring Justice David Souter -- a choice many political observers expect will be a woman -- he finds a vastly altered scene, with women holding dozens of seats on the nation's appellate courts, occupying dean's offices at prestigious law schools, and serving in some of the highest political offices in the nation.

"The legal landscape has been totally transformed," said Deborah Rhode, a Stanford University law professor whose research includes gender issues related to the legal profession. "Obama has a lot of possibilities."


It was once rare for women to become lawyers, but they began attending law school in much greater numbers four decades ago because of factors like the Vietnam War and the rise of the women's movement, Ms. Rhode said.


Two former law school deans, Elena Kagan of Harvard and Kathleen Sullivan of Stanford, are also widely considered to be potential nominees. Kagan, 49, was an associate White House counsel in the Clinton administration and recently became solicitor general; Sullivan, 53, is a constitutional law professor.