The Florida Bar

Florida Bar Journal

More Judicial Demographics

Letters

Don’t you even casually check letters to the editor for blatantly false claims?

David P. Carter’s letter in the September/October issue claims that “black men make up 19 percent of the U.S. population,” whereas a quick check of the U.S.

Census indicates that all blacks in the U.S. make up just 13.4 percent.

So, the black male percentage would be more like 6.5 percent.

I didn’t expect The Florida Bar Journal to be yet another source of fake news.

Mark Warda, Lake Wales

***

The only problem with the letter of David P. Carter on “Judicial Economics and Demographics” are his facts.

Blacks comprise 12.3 percent of the U.S. population, so just black men cannot be “19 percent of the U.S. population.” Moreover, black males who are lawyers comprise only a small percentage of the U.S. population and the legal profession. Similarly, “women of color” do not make up “20 percent of the U.S. population.” Rather, all black females, including kids and the elderly, make up about 6.2 percent of the U.S. population, and adult black female lawyers are just a small fraction of that percentage — and an even smaller percentage of the legal profession. Black judges, male and female, are 12.8 percent of all 1,700 federal judges or a bit higher than their population percentage.

There are 30,000 state court judges. Female judges, regardless of color, represent 33 percent of all judges, including three of nine on the U.S. Supreme Court, not “22 percent.” In Florida, females are 52 percent of all judges. Thus, “white women” do not make up “only 22 percent of state court trial judges.”

Whites, including white Hispanics, are 77.35 percent of the U.S. population. Thus, white women are about 39 percent of the U.S. population, not “31 percent.” If white Hispanic females are excluded, white females total about 32 percent of the U.S. population.

All federal judges are appointed. Thus, voters being white is irrelevant as to federal judges, prima facie. The 50 states both elect and appoint judges. As to who gets appointed or elected must be analyzed on a case-by-case basis, instead of using false generalizations unsupported by the facts.

Thus, the contention that white male attorneys dominating judgeships, because the majority of voters (“61 percent”) are white, is bogus, because only in the past few decades have females and blacks become a substantial part of the legal profession and able to challenge the domination by the male gender.

However, who is successful in being appointed or able to run for the position of a judgeship and retaining the post is determined by many factors, only part of which is economic, but it is not determined by “historically bad luck” of female and black attorneys.

Richard N. Friedman, Beverly Hills, CA