Bloomberg columnist Ann Woolner says that while the debate over Elena Kagan's sexuality has managed to dispel several outdated rumors about unmarried career women in their 50s, it's too bad "the Supreme Court presumably will remain an all-hetero bench."
"An openly gay justice would bring life experiences to the court that no other justice has before," Woolner writes. "This isn't to say that same-sex orientation requires you to read the law differently, or that heterosexual judges will necessarily give short shrift to the rights of a minority. It was a presumably all-hetero court that in 2003 voted 6-3 to strike down a Texas law that criminalized gay sex.
"Still, it's hard to imagine a gay justice dissenting on that one. Life experiences do count. They seemed to have counted 17 years earlier when the court was considering the constitutionality of a Georgia law that made gay sodomy a crime."
Woolner says that while gay rights are certainly advancing, the treatment of Kagan's assumed sexuality proves "a vocal and powerful minority would use homosexuality as grounds to try to defeat a gay nominee."