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Women Judges Advocate 2nd Female on High Court

October 13, 1987|United Press International

SEATTLE — The National Assn. of Women Judges called on President Reagan on Monday to nominate a second woman to the Supreme Court in the event his nomination of Judge Robert H. Bork fails in the Senate.

Before adjourning its national convention, the association passed a resolution noting that "there are numerous highly qualified women judges now serving on the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals who would bring to the high court extensive judicial experience and a common-sense approach to the law."

The emergency resolution was drafted by California Appeal Court Judge Joan Dempsey Klein of the 2nd Appellate District in Los Angeles, who said it was "incumbent on this organization to take this act." The Supreme Court currently has one female justice, Sandra Day O'Connor, who was nominated by President Reagan.

Klein said with more and more women becoming lawyers, pressure will grow to appoint more of them as judges.

"I think the appointment of a second women to the Supreme Court would be recognition of this (trend)," she said.

Klein assailed Reagan's overall performance in appointing women to federal court positions. The association's statistics show that of the 287 judges appointed by Reagan since 1981, only 25 have been women.

"He's appointed so few women--it's rather disgraceful," Klein said. "He's had great opportunity to do so."

In other action, the association, which represents about 800 women judges across the country, elected Superior Court Judge Judith McConnell of San Diego as its new president.

McConnell vowed to continue the association's effort to identify and correct "gender bias" in the legal system, particularly at the federal court level.

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