Why Candidates Should Be Hired Based On 'Merit'...
Federal Judge says race-based hiring is divisive and un-American.
Judge James C. Ho, who serves on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit based in New Orleans, recently mused that “equality of opportunity” unites the nation and gives Americans hope for the future.
By contrast, he writes, it is un-American to hire based on race and “offensive to people of that race - because you’re suggesting that the only way they’ll get the job is if you rig the rules in their favor.”
In an article this month in the Georgetown Journal of Law & Public Policy, Judge Ho expresses support for Ilya Shapiro, who was suspended in January as he was about to take a new job as Georgetown University’s Executive Director of the Center for the Constitution.
After President Joe Biden said he would appoint the first black woman to the U.S. Supreme Court, Shapiro tweeted that Sri Srinivasan, the Indian born Chief Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, was obviously the most qualified person to fill the position. He said Biden effectively limited the field to a “lesser black woman.” Shapiro later deleted the tweet and apologized that it was badly worded.
Shapiro remains suspended while Georgetown, a private Catholic University, investigates whether he violated Georgetown’s “professional conduct, non-discrimination and anti-harassment” policies.
Biden’s pick, Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, who had spent less than a year on the D.C. appeals court, was confirmed by the U.S. Senate last month to become the first African American woman to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court.
Judge Ho, who was born in Taiwan, said candidates should be chosen based on merit after everyone has a “full and fair opportunity to be considered.” He said that both the U.S. Constitution and the Civil Rights Act “make clear that it is wrong to hire people based on race. That’s the law for a wide range of jobs. But it would be especially wrong to select judges based on race.”
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