All nine Supreme Court justices attended either Harvard or Yale. This lack of educational diversity is a relatively new phenomenon for the Court.
In 1954, the U.S. Supreme Court ended legal segregation in public schools with a unanimous 9-0 decision in Brown v. Board of Education. The Court was far from integrated since the decision was reached by nine white men.
However, that version of the Supreme Court boasted far more educational diversity than the Court today. It had members with law degrees from the Universities of Indiana, California, Texas, and Alabama, along with Columbia, Harvard, and Sorbonne. One of the justices had no law degree whatsoever.
Today, such diversity is nowhere to be found. Drawing justices from one narrow school of thought raises questions about how much understanding the justices might possess on a wide range of issues. For example, someone attending law school in the West might bring an invaluable and unique perspective into coming court battles concerning the federal government's control over western lands.
A few years back, I summarized the problem this way, "Limiting the top tiers of political power to those who attend just a couple of schools deprives the nation of the diverse leadership it needs in these challenging times. We need doers and pragmatic problem solvers as well as book learners. We need leaders who understand the American people as much as we need those who can navigate the challenges of an Ivy League school."
Each weekday, Scott Rasmussen’s Number of the Day explores interesting and newsworthy topics at the intersection of culture, politics, and technology. Columns published on Ballotpedia reflect the views of the author.
Scott Rasmussen is founder and president of the Rasmussen Media Group. He is the author of "Mad as Hell: How the Tea Party Movement Is Fundamentally Remaking Our Two-Party System," "In Search of Self-Governance," and "The People’s Money: How Voters Will Balance the Budget and Eliminate the Federal Debt." Read more reports from Scott Rasmussen — Click Here Now.
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