I’m having a very specific reaction to those among the Republican impeachment cast of characters who are lawyers: Giuliani; Sekulow; Dershowitz; Barr; Starr. They are evil, incompetent, unethical, and generally loathsome people. But each one of them—to a man—would get more respect in most courtrooms than I would. Because of their gender and race. Because they look like what judges expect lawyers to look like. Hell, because they look like the judge himself. You lady lawyers know what I’m talking about. Lawyers of color, disabled lawyers, queer lawyers probably have similar experiences. Some old white windbag stands up and spouts incomprehensible bullshit or demonstrable lies. Sits down. Then I stand up facing a look of skepticism so familiar I barely notice it any more. The look that says, “that reassuring old white dude sounds so REASONABLE. Just look at him. Nice haircut, suit and tie, TALL. You’d better have a damn good story to overcome the comfort I take in his story.”
Often I do. I’m good at my job. But I start in a procedural, evidentiary, legal hole dug out right behind the podium by centuries of white patriarchy.
Watching these famous lawyers, all male, all white, wearing their expensive suits and unearned reputations, debasing themselves with arguments even they are smart enough to know are bullshit, being taken seriously by the media as lawyers … brings a very personal rage.
You go, girl! All too true.
For Amy Robertson to write that she is “good at [her] job” is tantamount to Monet stating that he was good at painting. She can add to her undue-deference-list men with good hair, as long as they have all of the other attributes judges appear to value. Unfortunately, the situation will become worse. Currently, I’m reading an article in the New Yorker about Barr. The New Yorker published the article a couple of weeks ago. The author wrote that President Trump has succeeded in putting 162 judges on the bench. I do not recall whether that number includes Gorsuch and Kavanaugh, but, with those numbers, it hardly matters, as the audience with the proclivity to accord undue deference is growing exponentially.
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Oh Amy, I am so with you… AND impressed with the diversity of the House lawyers. They are doing such a good job. It all makes me sick.
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Bravo, Amy. It is always useful to unpack the default unwritten codes of the way we function.
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