Breaking Brown

May 15, 2013

African-Americans Are More Likely to Be Pleading For Help at Supreme Court Than Arguing Before It

African-Americans Are More Likely to Be Pleading For Help at Supreme Court Than Arguing Before It

In the last 75 hours of oral arguments, the Supreme Court has heard from only one African-American attorney. Hispanics fared a bit better, with fourSupreme court voting rights attorneys having argued before the Supreme Court during the same period.

In sum, the African-American attorney who appeared before the court argued for 11 minutes and the Hispanic attorneys argued for a total of one hour and 45 minutes.

Women did better than both Blacks and Hispanics, having a 17 percent rate of representation before the court.

The representation of minorities on the Supreme Court is far higher since an African-American, Hispanic, and three women are represented on the court. In that sense, the court is much more diverse than the attorneys who argue before it.

The pattern at the Supreme Court shows that white men are more likely to argue before the court while minorities are more likely to have cases that are heard before the court, implying an unequal hierarchical arrangement between white men and everyone else.

More often than not, those arguing before the court come from elite law firms, which are still predominately white and male. A study done by the Association for Legal Career Professionals found that more than 93 percent of partners in law firms are white and nearly 80 percent are men.

Even in the Office of the Solicitor General, all of the top advisory positions are held by men.

The most recent African-American attorney to argue before the Supreme Court was Debo Adegbile during the voting rights oral argument in February.

 

 

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One thought on “African-Americans Are More Likely to Be Pleading For Help at Supreme Court Than Arguing Before It

  1. DrueFerguson says:

    I have known this for over 50 years…so what’s new! Most black attorneys that i came in contact with, don’t respect their black clients…

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