August 19, 2005

Is this anti-woman?

Or anti-lawyer?

18 comments:

Goesh said...

- probably a little of each since the ABA just gave him a big thumbs up -

me said...

First, if any regular person had their quotes put in print, they'd be squirming a lot more. Second, the comment should be read as gender-neutral, but even if you construe homemaker as a feminine reference, it seems to value staying at home over being an attorney, not a hard sell.

My father used to run into Roberts at the cafeteria in Justice, before Roberts was married. My father noted that Roberts always was eating with a very attractive, but different, woman. So apparently, in his bachelor days, Roberts was pro-woman in the Clinton sense.

One can't fault him for that?

In the end, Roberts is certainly within the range of nominees that one would have expected Bush to appoint. Therefore, to complain about Roberts, having elected Bush, is an exercise in futility.

Yes, Roberts is likely to tinker with Roe v. Wade, but overall, Roberts will probably be a good Justice. Pro-life or pro-choice, Roe has got to be one of the most poorly reasoned legal decisions of all-time.

If people had understood what Bork was talking about, we probably would never have ended up with Thomas.

Bruce Hayden said...

Actually, I am happier with Thomas than I would have been with Bork. Nothing against Bork, but I just like Thomas - probably my favorite Justice.

But isn't Roberts' wife an attorney? Fairly successful at that?

Wasteland Fan said...

Saul said: "Second, the comment should be read as gender-neutral . . ."

Wasteland Fan says: Right, because otherwise you'd have to ignore the legions of men who were homemakers when Roberts wrote the statement.

downtownlad said...

It's absolutely anti-lawyer, and I'm sure he had a smile on his face when he wrote it.

Jim Clay said...

What disturbs me is not Roberts' comment, it is the "anti-homemaker" attitude that TChris and Anne show. I am a successful engineer and my wife is a homemaker, and we have three beautiful kids. I absolutely believe that what she does is more important than what I do.

How discouraging to have a man be vilified because he dares to suggest that homemakers contribute more to the common good than lawyers.

Jim Clay said...

It's probably unfair to characterize Anne's post as "anti-homemaker". My apologies.

Nancy said...

Well, you have to go to the bottom of the article to get the full quote: "Some might question whether encouraging homemakers to become lawyers contributes to the common good, but I suppose that is for the judges to decide."

Can he be faulted for trying to anticipate what detractors of the scholarship program might say? As a lawyer, isn't that part of his job?

Troy said...

Wasteland Fan: men as homemakers... I have two words for you: "Michael Keaton". :)

Bruce Hayden -- I love Thomas. I have introduced my Con law students to the joys of the Thomas dissent.

Overall I think the Roberts homemaker comment is a tempest in a teapot. The world would be a lot better place with more homemakers and less lawyers (of either sex).

Jack Roy said...

Well put, Prof. Althouse! Heh heh.

Kathy Herrmann said...

Yuck popped up as my first thought on Robert's "encouraging homemakers to lawyers" quote.

However, I'd like to see the quote in context with the rest of his expressed view on the subject before passing judgement.

Second thought. Roberts said that 20 years ago. I think about some of my own thoughts and beliefs from my youth two decades past. I'd hate to think folks would assume quotes from 20 years ago automatically reflect my views today.

I'm more interested in what Robert's thinks today and what's impacted the evolution of those thoughts from then to now.

Scipio said...

I agree with Roaring Tiger. 20 years ago I thought women's suffrage was a necessary and good thing.

Then Rosie O'Donnell and the Couple-Thousand-Mom March happened.

Now I am seriously troubled by the 19th Amendment.

Charles said...

I think it could be more like the need to control the overpopulation of lawyers. Like a program of preventing the lawyer herd from over grazing, getting too big, some starve, natural predators come in, you might need to thin the herd, then the lawyer-rights activists show up... what a mess. He was just thinking 30 or so years ahead. A visionary!

Drethelin said...

I think it was less a matter of saying women were unqualified, but that women who were homemakers were unqualified. Much like, however you may support affirmative action, putting a former black railway worker or forklift driver into a proffesorship would be alot like encouraging wives who had only been homemakers to take up law.

Troy said...

Drethelin... too bad there aren't more former railroaders and forklift drivers in academia. It would've been nice to have professors who had held "real" jobs -- meaning manual labor. I know I know... I'm not generalizing to "all" professors.

I did have the benefit of many of my law professors who had actually practiced law before state judges with needy clients and bills to collect, etc.

Chrees said...

It's a lawyer joke.

Thanks for the link though. The comments there are priceless, especially the ones that clearly didn't read the posted link. If I didn't know better I'd say it was a spoof. Sadly it isn't.

MK said...

Those lines are a lawyer joke, but I'd have to read the rest of/his other briefs to know where he stands regarding women. Don't trust sound bites...

Aaron said...

It is an awesome Rorschach test seeing what people make of these snippets. Ann makes a pithy little moderate quip without taking a stance. Others jump on one side or the other. It is quite revealing. My meta analysis probably says something about me.