Statement on Justice Breyer Retirement
Today, Should Run Founder and CEO Erin Loos Cutraro released the following statement:
“The news that Supreme Court Justice Stephen G. Breyer will retire when its current term ends in June 2022 presents a very clear opportunity for the U.S. to inch one step closer to a future that will benefit every American. President Biden made a campaign commitment to nominate a Black woman to the Supreme Court, and doing so would have an enormous impact on the future of equal representation.
Women make up more than half of our population yet hold just 30% of all public offices. For certain demographics, the numbers are even worse. Black women remain severely underrepresented as officeholders at the statewide executive level, holding just 1.9% of these positions.
This very obvious inequality is present even within the highest court in the federal judiciary of the United States. Of the 115 Supreme Court justices in U.S. history, 108 have been White men. Only five women have served since the Supreme Court was established in 1789. As our highest level of government overseeing the increasingly critical issues we face today, the need for more representation is crucial.
The World Economic Forum estimates that it will take the United States another 208 years to reach gender equality. And, at the current pace of change, gender equality won’t arrive in the U.S. until the year 2227. This isn’t just a tragedy, it is a crisis.
With this Supreme Court appointment, our nation’s leaders have an opportunity to ensure our democracy begins to reflect the wonderfully diverse nation it is meant to serve. Equal representation matters at every level, across all governing bodies. It matters to young people who need to see themselves in leadership. It matters to women who need to know their experiences have a place.
We won’t reach equal representation in our lifetime unless we flood the candidate pool with more women from all walks of life who are confident in their abilities to lead. That’s why, unlike organizations that support women who are well on their way to a candidacy, we support women who don’t yet see what their path toward elected leadership could look like.
All issues are women’s issues. But with less than 30 percent of over 500,000 public offices (most of which are at the local level) held by women, we are effectively excluding them from leading decision-making on the issues that matter to us most. We need to prioritize the voices and experiences of women, and we need to do it now.
We hope you’ll join us.”
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