Oh, No! A Single Woman May Replace Souter

Lack of a ring turns top female Supreme Court candidates into targets
By Katherine Thompson,  Newser Staff
Posted May 6, 2009 9:41 AM CDT
Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, as a single woman, has frequently addressed questions from the media about her sexual orientation.   (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
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(Newser) – David Souter is a lifelong bachelor, but the possibility of a bachelorette replacement has started an uproar. Why? Because those potential Supreme Court justices are women, and when a powerful woman is unmarried it "seems to make everyone think: lonely, misfit, or lesbian," write Dahlia Lithwick and Hanna Rosin for Slate. Two potential candidates are lesbians, but that hasn't exactly opened the door to a frank discussion of what it would mean to have an openly gay woman on the bench.

Instead, groups like the Family Research Council promise a fierce fight against a gay candidate—and then say they will only discuss judicial views, not sexual preference. "Really?" Lithwick and Rosin retort, adding, "That we can't speak openly about whether some of the women who have earned consideration for the Supreme Court are gay or not, and whether it even matters, is, of course, maddening."