How is a Black Female Supreme Court Justice a Glass Ceiling?

Orrin Konheim
3 min readFeb 1, 2022
Photo by Claire Anderson on Unsplash

Let’s review: We already have Blacks on the court and we have women on the court.

Are there seriously black girls sitting at home thinking “no one ever will elect me to the Supreme Court. Only black men, Hispanic women (remember when Sonia Sotomayor got put on the supreme court?), and white women get elected.” If that girl has that little imagination in an era where Black history month is stretching essentially twice as long (not to mention Juneteenth), every Black woman to break through any ceiling gets free publicity, Black actresses get preferential treatment at the Oscars and the BAFTAS, then perhaps that young woman has a lack of imagination or is leaning pretty heavily on race as a crutch.

I’m a big fan of Kamala Harris, but did we not just give a Black woman the vice presidency and HUD for the sole purpose of giving those positions? How much more affirmative action is being demanded here and when do we, as liberals, draw a line?

The narrowing of the Supreme Court pool to Black women is not about a job interview. It is a piece of symbolism so we should treat it as such. It’s a tacit approval to the school of thought that affirmative action is needed to rectify racial divides in this country (particularly with the African-American community who is currently the loudest faction in expressing dissatisfaction with society).

And, yes, in the previous sentence, I used affirmative action. One can attach any connotations to it they want but let’s start by acknowledging that a move like screening only Black women for the Supreme Court is something as a strategy for remedying race-based inequality in this country. Let’s take it a step further by acknowledging that’s not a strategy that everyone believes is effective in combatting racial inequality. You might 100% think it’s effective but a good starting point would be that to acknowledge that not all people want that and some of them are also on the same side as you (remedying racial inequality).

Personally, I tend to think that affirmative action places an asterisk to the person’s name. This does not interfere with my belief that educational initiatives for Blacks should get more funding if studies show that they’re lagging behind their peers. But more to the point, it…

Orrin Konheim

Freelance journalist w/professional bylines in 3 dozen publications, writing coach, google me. Patreon: http://www.patreon/com/okjournalist Twitter: okonh0wp