Expert Alert

U.S. Supreme Court nomination

Christina Ewig
Professor Christina Ewig

Following the announcement of Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer’s retirement, White House officials have said President Biden remains on track to announce his U.S. Supreme Court nominee by the end of the month. Humphrey School of Public Affairs Professor Christina Ewig gives expert comment on Biden’s pledge to select a Black woman. 

Christina Ewig, Ph.D.
“Research shows the positive impact of electing and appointing a more diverse array of individuals to public office. Public offices in the United States have long been dominated by white, middle and upper class men. We have, in other words, historically drawn heavily from one small sector of our society for these important roles.  

"This practice has impacted the quality of our public representation in three ways: 

  1. Over reliance on one small group has meant not taking full advantage of the potential that can be harnessed from the knowledge, experience and talents of other sectors of our society.  
  2. As individuals from more diverse backgrounds have been elected and appointed to public office, the evidence is clear that they have strengthened the deliberative aspects of our democracy by bringing new ideas and experiences to the conversation. 
  3. The public has also reacted favorably as our public officials have grown to reflect a broader swath of Americans. Citizens have greater trust in our democratic processes when they see people like themselves represented in public office. 

"For all of these reasons, the appointment of a Black woman to the Supreme Court will be significant for U.S. democracy.”

Christina Ewig is a professor of Public Affairs and Faculty Director of the Center on Women, Gender and Public Policy at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs. Her areas of expertise include presidential and legislative politics; social welfare policy; elections and voting behavior; gender; democracy; health care policy and international development.

About the Humphrey School of Public Affairs
The Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota is ranked as one of the country’s top 10 professional public policy and planning schools. The School is long noted for equipping students to play key roles in public life at the local, state, national and global levels and offers six distinctive master’s degrees, a doctoral degree, and six certificate programs. Learn more at

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