SCOTUS Forced to Make Changes Due to Women Justices Being Interrupted So Often
EVEN AT THE TOP
The U.S. Supreme Court’s recent changes to oral arguments stem partly from studies that revealed female justices were interrupted “at disproportionate rates” by their male counterparts, Justice Sonia Sotomayor has said. Speaking at a New York University School of Law event Wednesday, Sotomayor said the new format—which allows each justice to speak individually in order of seniority—had already had an “enormous impact.” But she said the issue of female justices routinely being interrupted mirrors trends in society as a whole. “Most of the time women say things and they are not heard in the same way as men who might say the identical thing,” Sotomayor said. She cited a study published in 2017 by Tonja Jacoby and Dylan Schweers, which examined dynamics during oral arguments at the Supreme Court. “We find that judicial interactions at oral argument are highly gendered, with women being interrupted at disproportionate rates by their male colleagues, as well as by male advocates,” the authors found.