The Importance Of Diversity

Brennan Center Updates State Supreme Court Diversity Report with Demographic and Professional Data
On April 20, the Brennan Center released its second update to its report, State Supreme Court Diversity, with new demographic information about state supreme court justices, and for the first time, information about justices’ professional backgrounds.
There are now 22 states in which there are no justices who publicly identify as a person of color, including 11 states where people of color make up at least 20 percent of the population. There are also 28 states where there are no Black justices, 40 states where there are no Latino justices, 44 states where there are no Asian American justices, and 47 states without a Native American justice.
The researchers also found that over a third (37 percent) of sitting justices are former prosecutors, while only seven percent are former public defenders. In addition, 81 percent of justices across all demographic groups previously worked in private practice, whereas only two percent worked in civil legal aid.

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