Does Obama’s SCOTUS nominee need to be a woman? Judging by PD’s predominantly rabid right-wing readership (apologies to Kaiser, aka Switzerland), the answer is likely an equally rabid “heck no!” The next nominee can be a woman, a man, or a robe-wearing turtle as long as he/she/it is qualified, right?

Right. But I must admit this piece at RCP makes some interesting points on the benefits of gender diversity on the court.

One interesting snippet:

In an interview with CNBC shortly after O’Connor’s retirement, Justice Antonin Scalia said that “as far as the product of the court is concerned, it makes no difference at all. I don’t think there’s … a female legal answer to a question and a male legal answer to the same question. That’s just silly.”

Sure it is, phrased that way. But life experiences inform the act of judging, and the experience of being a woman justice comes into play at certain moments.

Ginsburg, in an interview with USA Today, cited two from this term: one involving school officials who strip-searched a 13-year-old-girl, and another on pregnancy discrimination. In the strip-search case, some justices questioned the notion that the girl was traumatized by the event; Ginsburg suggested that they just didn’t get it. “They have never been a 13-year-old girl,” she told USA Today. “It’s a very sensitive age for a girl. I didn’t think that my colleagues, some of them, quite understood.”

It’s fine that some justices are from Mars. We just need a few, at least, from Venus, too.

Read the rest.