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Maryland makes grade with female judges

Thirty-one percent of Maryland judges at the state and federal level are women, according to a new report. The study, by the University at Albany in New York, ranks Maryland 10th among all states and Washington, D.C., for gender diversity on the bench. (Vermont is tops at 39.6 percent; Idaho comes in last at 11.3 percent, if you’re keeping score.)

Maryland was also ranked 10th last year, with 30.7 percent female judges.

Nationwide, 23 percent of federal judges and 27 percent of state judges are women, according to the study. Maryland’s figures are 25 percent and 32 percent, respectively.

The report’s authors note seven states and D.C. have reached 33 percent female judges, the “point where women become a critical mass, and where their presence becomes significant enough to change stereotypical concepts of gender roles.”

Perhaps this flies in the face of the study, but if there’s one thing I know, it’s that you should never tell a woman she’s reached a critical mass.