02-25-2018  3:58 am      •     
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4

NEWS BRIEFS

Breaking Bread Breaking Barriers, Feb. 26

Monthly dinner aims to build relationships between communities of color and police ...

Local Group Researches African American Ancestry

This Genealogical Forum of Oregon special interest group holds monthly meetings ...

Last Day to Apply for Affordable Housing is Feb. 22

Longtime and displaced residents of N/NE Portland receive preference for new housing, apply before midnight Thursday ...

NAACP Announces Key Partnerships

Voter mobilization for 2018 midterm elections takes precedence among issues uniting groups ...

Winter Donations Needed, Warming Centers Open Through Thursday

Locals encouraged to check on neighbors, winter gear needed ...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

OPINION

Painting President Obama's Portrait Was Life-Changing

Artist Kehinde Wiley represented the president's life using color, composition and flowers ...

Raising Emotionally Competent Children

Lynnette Monroe on how her grandparents taught her to love herself ...

Black Dollars Matter: The Sales Impact of Black Consumers

Black consumers are spending jumi.2 trillion annually and are demanding that brands speak to them in ways that resonate...

Guest Opinion: Skipper Osborne’s Testimony on HB 4005

In testimony to legislature, Osborne says bill could decrease access to important therapies ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

ENTERTAINMENT

By The Skanner News

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) -- U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas says the nation's highest court would benefit from more geographic diversity among its justices and should hold some sessions outside of Washington, D.C.

Thomas' comments came in a speech to University of Nebraska-Lincoln law students Thursday and were reported by the Lincoln Journal Star. Thomas, a Georgia native who has worked in Washington, D.C., since 1993, said the court would benefit from a more balanced geographical mix that "reflects the fact this is a big country, not just the Northeast."

"There's nobody from the Heartland," said Thomas, who visits Nebraska periodically because his wife's family is from the state.

Five of the nine justices have strong ties to Boston, New York and central New Jersey. Chief Justice John Roberts is a Midwesterner raised in Indiana, but he went to college and law school at Harvard and has spent his entire professional life in Washington. Three justices were born or raised in New York City - Brooklyn-born Ruth Bader Ginsburg; Antonin Scalia, raised in Queens; and Bronx native Sonia Sotomayor.

The court's ties to the Northeast could strengthen when Justice John Paul Stevens leaves the court at the end of this term. Stevens is a Chicago native and the only justice who didn't attend an Ivy League law school.

Thomas also told the Nebraska law students that it would be a good idea for the justices to occasionally hold sessions outside of Washington.

"I think it would serve us all to move around the country," Thomas said.

A Northwestern University law professor, Lee Epstein, has begun to look at whether there's any correlation between geography and voting patterns in Supreme Court cases. Her research is at a preliminary stage.

University of Notre Dame Law School professor Richard Garnett told The Associated Press he's not bothered by the lack of geographic diversity on the Supreme Court because he thinks the justices' skills are more important than their roots.

"We are well-served if the justices of the Supreme Court are well-trained, able, thoughtful lawyers," said Garnett, who believes the current panel fits that.

Thomas spent roughly 90 minutes answering student questions during his visit. He told the group that the court is being asked to play too big of a role in the nation's governance. Currently, he said too many of the difficult decisions are being left to the courts to decide.

"The really hard calls ought to be made by citizens and their political leaders," Thomas said.

Thomas was appointed to the court by Republican President George H.W. Bush, and he took his seat in 1991.

---

Information from: Lincoln Journal Star, http://www.journalstar.com

© 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Learn more about our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

Oregon Lottery
Calendar

‘Use Your Power’ MLK Breakfast Speech

Photo Gallery

Photos and slide shows of local events