That Stings! The First WASP-Free Supreme Court

President Obama’s nomination of Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court set off a flurry of decline-of-the-WASP articles in major media outlets this week. If Kagan is confirmed, the formerly 100 percent WASP Supreme Court will not have a single Protestant, something to mourn or celebrate, depending on your point of view.

Writes the Wall Street Journal:

Until the early 1980s, when a flood of new wealth began to democratize the American elite, the path to power and status in America was straight and narrow. It usually began with old-line families in the lush estates of Greenwich, Boston, New York or Philadelphia and wound its way through New England boarding schools, on to Harvard or Yale and finally to the white-shoe law firms or banks of the Northeast or the corridors of power in Washington.

Richard Brookhiser, author of “The Way of the Wasp,” has this piece yesterday in the New York Post, while Newsweek weights in on the topic here.

Pictured above is the Supreme Court in 1952, at the time of Brown v. Board of Education. — CC

26 Comments on "That Stings! The First WASP-Free Supreme Court"

  1. Obama has been diversifying Washington in general – ideologically, racially, gender-wise, and with regards to sexuality, to name a few. It’s not just the end of the Protestant’s reign, but the other part of the WASP equation – White Anglo Saxon (particularly male). It’s great to see this range of life experiences on the court, which will allow for richer debates and generate many points of view, and perhaps a more fair and balanced ruling.

  2. It’s not very diverse. How many Espiscopalians? Methodists? Lutherans? Baptists? Presbtyrians? Christian Scientists? Mormons? And forgetting the WASP question, what about the Greek Orthodox? Russian Orthodox? Catholics? I see this not as making “richer points of view” but purposefully excluding a whole huge segment of the population.

    And if representative demographics are so important, which is what they sell to us everywhere nowadays, then shouldn’t the justices match the demographics of the people?

  3. Laguna Beach Trad | May 18, 2010 at 7:07 pm |

    Not only will Kagan’s appointment render the court WASP-free (and therefore American-free), but it also means Kagan’s Middle Eastern-Central Asian tribe will comprise 33.33% of the Court when it makes up only about 2% of the U.S. population. This has horrifying implications for us, if history (e.g., Soviet Union, Weimar Germany) is any indication.

    Also, it must be asked, is Kagan any relation to Lazar Moiseyevich Kaganovich (1893-1991), the mass-murdering Bolshevik-Soviet mass-murderer who hailed from the same tribe as Kagan? These issues need to be discussed.

  4. I think the end of the Protestant Hold on the Supreme Court is a sad event. I am black and Episcopalian, but Im a protestant. Few people realise that there is something to this, but there really is something to it.

    The Government isnt obliged to be representative of the demographics of the country.

    Being a WASP is not always about race anymore. Its about valuing a tradition and heritage and a way of life. One which I think we must save.

  5. W.R. is right: if Kagan is approved, the SCOTUS will be a “diverse” group of Catholics and Jews.

    Ted, Sonia Sotomayor described herself as “an Affirmative Action baby,” meaning she admits she got where she is despite her lesser qualifications. Unlike many, I think it’s a bad thing to promote “diversity” over ability, and I know it’s wrong to punish the able because of their skin color.

    I cannot state better what Lawrence Auster said about Sonia Sotomayor and her “wise Latina” comment in which she said she’d make better decisions than a “white male”:

    “Any white man who had said the equivalent of what Judge Sotomayor said, that he as a white man would be a better judge than a black or a Hispanic, would have had his name automatically removed from any list for the U.S. Supreme Court.

    “And if such a man had been nominated, and such a statement in his past had then come out, his nomination would have been instantly withdrawn.

    “Therefore Sonia Sotomayor is disqualified from the U.S. Supreme Court and her nomination must be withdrawn.

    “If the Democrats approve her nomination, they are saying that there are two sets of rules in America, one for whites and one for nonwhites, and that what is prohibited to whites, is freely allowed to nonwhites. Which means that the real purpose of the movement for racial equality and racial inclusion in this country has not been the ending of racial discrimination, but the inauguration of a pro-nonwhite, anti-white regime.”

    White Americans, WASP or otherwise, are being told to give up the country their ancestors founded and built, and when they resist, they’re told to shut up and take it. They’re smeared with the vilest epithets and removed from the consideration of “polite” society (the latest instantiation of this is how Arizona is getting treated).

    How much further do you think conservatives will be pushed until they fight back? Oh, wait a sec–maybe the Tea Parties, Minutemen, and laws like Arizona’s are the start of the fight back?

    I hope that a resolution is reached without violence, but given how hard the left is pushing, that’s not a given.

  6. Whats the deal with this website? Fetishize the aesthetic, denigrate the originators, promote one political philosophy.

  7. Well,well….interesting. An out and out daily assualt on
    everything conservative and traditional of the history of
    the USA. A concentrated effort to drive it home that you
    understand that Inequality is evil….almost as if there’s
    someone out there, the grandest receipient of inequality
    there’s ever been, who simply wants revenge and will
    never stop till they get it. A simple crybaby whose
    motivations and desires are simple and juvenille but
    humanity thinks it needs scholars and philosophies
    and all sorts of intellectual discussion to pinpoint
    exactly what is it that makes this world go around.
    You give something a free will,and it will discover
    it can give a friendly handshake or belt you one, for
    NO OTHER REASON, than because they can.
    hmmmmm…..almost like there’s someone out there
    who wants freedom without consequence, a criminal
    who says you are viloating HIS RIGHTS, to be in
    favor of prosecuting any actions of another for therefore
    you are interfering and blocking the pure expression
    of freedom. Does not matter how criminality affects
    the lives of those it touches, fight back if you can,
    let our existence be a jungle where only the strong
    survive and understand humanity is animal in its
    nature, so law enforcment,that produces INEQUALITY,
    is evil. In fact lets reverse law enforcement so the laws
    are in favor of “protecting” any and all expression of
    humanity,crime is not crime but how one culture mis
    interprets another,the criminal is a victim too. The
    criminal is the worst victim in fact, because he is
    criminal not because he chose to but because you
    supressed him…and banished him forever…..
    almost like someone long ago was banished for
    his behavior along with SEVERAL of his friends,
    and they live sleep eat and breath hate,Hate,HATE,
    like a nuclear powered poison that pulsates through
    them 24/7. Almost as if this someone is fearing the
    end is finally here and won’t be very long before his
    destiny is fulfilled so he must try to change REALITY
    itself, like a little kid forcing you at gunpoint to play
    makebelieve with him.
    Unfortunately the majority of humanity sympathize
    with this someone and are just like him in how
    they think, which renders them sheep,pathetically so.
    Time for a heavenly father to get out the strap, only
    this time an entire nation is going to get it for
    turning their backs and listening to his overgrown
    brat. Old Testament wrath, WELCOME BACK.
    It’s been too long without you.

  8. Given that the government is responsible for much of one’s daily life, there is nothing wrong with being represented by someone of your race and gender who understands how government decisions will affect you. After all, this country was created because it demanded equal representation in matters concerning them (i.e. “not taxation without representation”).

    And white Americans are being denied nothing, trust me – particularly white American males. If you think paying your fair share for the government benefits such as Medicare and Social Security is wrong, then please move to a country without a social safety net and try and grow old there. Don’t waste our time with your selfish demands for more of what you already don’t need, and pay your taxes for once. And can we please lay off of the doomsday rhetoric? It loses effect the hundredth time you hear it.

    @Van, I’m Catholic, so I couldn’t possibly value this website or the lifestyle it endorses, no?

    To keep this slightly relevant to the post at hand, with the introduction of Kagan, SCOTUS members would all have attended an Ivy League law school, making it a bastion of Ivy education, if not necessarily one of WASP-dom.

  9. White American Males are being denied nothing,he says…

    Yes indeed Ashton. The doomsday rhetoric loses its
    effect the hundredth time you hear it……uh huh……….
    don’t lose your place in line now behind the other sheep.

  10. “Given that the government is responsible for much of one’s daily life”

    That is the scariest thing I’ve ever read at this site.

    Here’s the question: should the government be responsible for our daily affairs, or should we be? Your answer reveals your political philosophy. If your answer was along the lines of, I want to control my own destiny, but government control is fine for everyone else, then we have a position waiting for you in the current administration!

  11. Not to be too nitpicky, but Brown V Board came two years later when the composition of the court had changed a bit–Earl Warren hadn’t been appointed yet when this picture was taken.

  12. Christian | May 19, 2010 at 2:02 pm |

    Evidently in ’52 the court agreed to hear the case. The decision came later.

  13. Fellow readers, can we agree that this blog is not the place for political discussion?

    Let’s put aside political bickering and enjoy the celebration of the Ivy Style.

  14. This blog is not a forum for political discussion, and neither should it be a forum for racist (and weirdly misinformed–do people think that Obama appointed the non-WASP Scalia and Alito??) diatribes.

  15. I can’t wait for a Supreme Court that excludes Catholics and Jews. Obama would love it, I would asume, since he thinks it’s fine to exclude large portions of the populations from representation on the court.

  16. I still don’t believe Sotomayor got passed with that double (racial & gender)bigoted “Wise Latina” comment. I guess this is what this society has been conditioned since the law called “Affirmative Action”:

    “When you do it to me, it is discrimination; when I do to you it is affirmative action.”

  17. Joe and jhn, it looks like you’re outvoted.

    By the way, jhn, before you swing that “racist” club, better make sure you know what you’re saying. Explain to us, please, how it is “racist” to observe incontrovertible facts about the religious beliefs of the members of the SCOTUS.

    Thought of the day:

    “[Lawrence Auster] wrote, ‘If Kagan is confirmed, three of the nine U.S. Supreme Court justices will be New York women–all of them diminutive, homely, ethnic (two Jews, one Puerto Rican) left-wingers.’

    “In Annie Hall, Woody Allen’s character, Alvy Singer, said, ‘The rest of the country looks upon New York like we’re Communist, Jewish, homosexual pornographers.’ If Kagan is confirmed, that’ll be three out of four New York stereotypes represented in three Supreme Court justices! Sadly, ignorant prejudice still excludes pornographers from the Supreme Court–for now, anyway.”

    from here:

  18. A Supreme Court that doesn’t represent what the majority of Americans are. Now THAT’S discrimination

  19. Why does anyone care about a judge’s religion? The court isn’t a representational body but a legal one (assuming it’s operating professionally). The question should be whether the judge is competent. You might as well choose your heart surgeon based on his religion.

  20. DC Lawyer asks, “Why does anyone care about a judge’s religion?”

    Possibly because one’s religious views may affect other views, even the supposedly non-religious law. Possibly because our culture is founded on Judeo-Christian principles, and most Americans are Christians, so we want people who share our beliefs in positions of power. Possibly because Protestants and Catholics and Jews, even while sharing a similar set of values, have significant differences among them, and the majority (Protestants) want their views reflected in society at large and in institutions of influence.

    Possibly also because this administration is doing its best to transform America against the will of the people, and so the people are more concerned than usual about who is nominated for the SCOTUS.

  21. Thank you Henry. Well said

  22. You’re welcome, Bermuda.

    Incidentally, here’s a fun fact to know and share: the last time a Democratic president nominated a white gentile for the SCOTUS was 1962, when JFK nominated Byron White. Since then, the last seven justices nominated by Democrats have consisted of one black, one Hispanic, and five Jews.

    (I got it from, but it’s Patrick Buchanan who pointed it out.)

    Liberals are always complaining about “systematic bias.” Yet here they demonstrate their own biases–again.

    P.S. to Christian: What’s with the gratuitous dig in your comment, “At least the old WASPs got that one right”? Are you trying to say “the old WASPs” got most of their decisions wrong? As Jack pointed out, there’s a bit of denigration in this entry. It’s unbecoming in an otherwise fine writer such as you.

  23. Christian | May 26, 2010 at 12:33 pm |

    Every writer needs an editor, and I’m no exception. Don’t even get me started on the need for a copy editor.

    Chalk it up to slapdash writing. It’s a throw-away line meant to add a little irreverence, given the weightiness of the subject matter (look at the comments it inspired). It was meant more to give the old WASP establishment credit for fair and forward thinking — at least when pressured.

    But I see now that it was probably confusing, and I think I’ll just go cut it completely, one of the great advantages of the web over print.

  24. OK. Fair enough.

    I do enjoy your blog, and you are a good writer, and, as you pointed out, like all writers, you need an editor. Good thing you have your peanut gallery to be your editors. What would you do without us? 😉

  25. remember…the far left’s goal is to attack the old WASP establishment, or anything traditionally American…only WE can be “racist” and “bigoted”, as they basically coined those phrases

  26. Oh, and speaking of the diversity which the left drivels on about endlessly, if Kagan is approved, the SCOTUS will consist entirely of those who graduated from either Harvard Law or Yale Law. Talk about diversity! Ted and the rest of the left-wingers should be beside themselves with glee for all the “range of life experiences,” “richer debates,” and the “many points of view” the graduates of those TWO schools will generate.

    Ted also opined that the new court would produce “more fair and balanced ruling[s].” Typical of liberals, he smears past courts–the all WASP ones, presumably–for being unfair and unbalanced.

    But that’s not what I said!, sputters Ted. It’s all implied in what you wrote.

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