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News Posted on May 3, 2010

Associate Dean Amar Comments on Next Supreme Court Nominee for

Associate Dean Vikram Amar contributed a brief essay to "Room for Debate," a feature of the website of the New York Times, on factors the Obama administration should weigh in choosing a new Supreme Court justice in the wake of Justice John Paul Stevens's retirement announcement in April. 

Associate Dean Amar suggested that the President should consider gender, given that "if he doesn't select a woman now, and Ruth Bader Ginsburg is the next (and final) justice to depart during his presidency (as seems plausible), he will be under tremendous pressure to replace her with a woman." 

He also argued that President Obama "need not look to diversify the range of law schools represented among the justices" in order to pursue intellectual diversity as some have suggested, even though Justice Stevens is the only non-Ivy League law graduate on the Court.  Law schools like Yale and Harvard do not have "tightly defined ideological schools of thought such that their graduates are well-versed in only one kind of legal analysis," he wrote.

Vikram Amar, Associate Dean of Academic Affairs and Professor of Law with the UC Davis School of Law, is a national authority in the fields of constitutional law, civil procedure, criminal procedure, and remedies. His biweekly column for, a leading provider of online legal information, centers on his expertise in constitutional law.

Room for Debate