Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s Childcare Arrangements Are Not Relevant to Her Skills

by Evil HR Lady on September 28, 2020

By Rachel Malehorn – Direct link, smugmug.com, CC BY 3.0,

WARNING: This post has nothing to do with politics. Any comments about the political side and whether Judge Barrett is qualified or unqualified to be a Supreme Court Justice will be deleted. I do not care what your political beliefs are. This is about women being judged on something other than knowledge, skills, and abilities.

Supreme Court Nominee, Amy Coney Barrett, has seven children–the oldest is 16 and the youngest is five. Everyone is, presumably, out of diapers and in school. And while most women don’t have seven children, most women do have children (or will have at some point). And just what type of mother she is or if she sends them to daycare or has a nanny is completely irrelevant to her ability to do her job.

So, when I saw these tweets, I went apoplectic.

It absolutely is not worth asking. We NEVER ask these questions of job candidates. And I can’t imagine that this type of question has ever been asked of a male Supreme Court nominee. Chief Justice Roberts had toddlers when he was nominated. Former Justice Antonin Scalia (for whom Coney Barrett clerked) had nine children. I couldn’t find the ages of his children, but here’s a picture from 1986, when he was sworn into the court.

Time Magazine

Clearly, there are some young kids there. And while I don’t remember anything about his senate hearings (I was 13), I’m pretty sure no one advocated asking about his child care arrangements.

This is 2020. We should not ask any female candidate for any job about her child care arrangements. We should not ask any female candidate if she has children. I’d point out that we shouldn’t ask this of male candidates, but we don’t already.

We should ask women the same questions as we ask men. These questions should determine if the candidate can do the job. As long as the children don’t show up at the office, it’s all good.

These questions are sexist and inappropriate, period. If you don’t like Judge Barrett, they are inappropriate. If you love Judge Barrett, they are inappropriate.

We need to eliminate this line of questioning from every job interview, and that’s what a Supreme Court Nominee hearing is–a job interview.

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