For leftists, the rule of law must give way to the law of diversity
A good legal system is a reliable system, one that is never "arbitrary and capricious." The best hedge against tyranny is a legal system that is not dependent on a tyrant's whims or the emotional responses of a cabal of activist judges. Under that system, people have the necessary information to make decisions that will benefit themselves and society. Washington State does not allow those concerns to affect how it chooses judges.
In a system subject to unpredictable, unequally applied whims, people are paralyzed. That's why it's important to have judges that (a) know both case law and statutory law, (b) respect the law and have the will to apply it equally, and (c) have the intelligence and education to analyze cases and determine the correct law.
These three qualities are abstracts that apply regardless of a judge's race, color, creed, ethnicity, sex, or sexual orientation. Unfortunately, leftism, with its commitment to identity politics, has stripped the law of these reliable absolutes. Instead, it cares little whether a judge knows the law, respects the law, applies the law, or has functional knowledge and intelligence. The only thing that matters to the left is ticking off those little identity politics boxes.
In 2001, eight years before Barack Obama nominated her for the United States Supreme Court, Sonia Sotomayor linked her judicial abilities to her race and sex: "I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn't lived that life."
In 2009, when the Senate contemplated Sotomayor's nomination, leftists backed away from her explicitly expressed belief that sex and race matter more than the rule of law. They focused, instead, on her academic credentials (Princeton and Yale) and her professional experience.
Fast-forward eleven years, and leftists no longer bother to pretend intelligence, education, and professional skills matter when selecting judges. This tweet about Washington State's Supreme Court is illustrative:
Washington State’s newest justice is a black, gay, disabled, lesbian immigrant. https://t.co/Em4oRc0LVo— Slate (@Slate) April 19, 2020
Chad Felix Greene had the perfect response:
Does she have a name? https://t.co/AGg50UTDLj— Chad Felix Greene (@chadfelixg) April 19, 2020
Believe or not, the Slate report behind the tweet is worse than the tweet itself when it comes to anchoring "justice" to skin color, sexuality, and other identity politics factors:
Donald Trump's presidency has been a disaster for judicial diversity. His judges are overwhelmingly straight, white, and male. Many are wealthy corporate attorneys born into privileged American families whose connections guided them along a path to power. In other words, Trump judges do not look like the country they serve.
While the federal bench grows more homogeneous by the day, Democratic governors are diversifying their state judiciaries to an unprecedented degree. On Monday, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, a Democrat, elevated Grace Helen Whitener to the state Supreme Court. Whitener is a disabled black lesbian who immigrated from Trinidad. She joins Inslee's two other appointees: Raquel Montoya-Lewis, a Jewish Native American who previously served on tribal courts, and Mary Yu, an Asian-American Latina lesbian who officiated the first same-sex marriages in the state.
Washington now has arguably the most diverse court, state or federal, in American history. (In Washington, the governor can fill vacancies, state Supreme Court vacancies, and those justices must later run for election.) There are currently seven female justices, including the chief justice — a record for any state Supreme Court — and just one straight, white, male justice. Its closest competitor is the California Supreme Court. Three of Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown's four appointees to that court are people of color: Goodwin Liu (who is Asian-American), Mariano-Florentino Cuéllar (who is a Latino immigrant), and Leondra Kruger (who is black).
The Washington Supreme Court is notably liberal; in recent years, it has issued decisions abolishing capital punishment and juvenile life without parole while upholding LGBTQ non-discrimination laws and progressive public financing of elections. It represents a vision of a different kind of jurisprudence from a radically diverse bench — what the federal judiciary might look like if a Democratic president and Senate controlled the judicial confirmation process. Joe Biden has already pledged to name a black woman to the U.S. Supreme Court if elected, but he'll have scores of lower court vacancies to fill, as well. He should look to states like Washington to learn how to reshape a judiciary to look more like the country it serves.
The following video suggests that Whitener embraces her victim identity:
Unless you want the federal bench, from the Supreme Court on down, to look like the Washington State court system — a system awash in judicial activism grounded in identity politics — you'd better vote for Trump in November.