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Number of women on the bench continues to rise


Dear Judge Avery, Judge Smith, Judge Barber, readers who have posted comments and those of you who have not written yet:

We were wrong and we are sorry.

It was never our intent to trivialize the accomplishments of women judges, and yet we did just that — and we did it at the speed of light and the Internet. We published a blog post that, while well-intentioned, contained an image and content that was insulting and demeaning. That offensive material has now been removed.

As publisher of The Daily Record, I personally assure you that we respect Maryland’s female judges. We elevate and celebrate the accomplishments and perseverance of successful women in all fields through our content, our events in general and our Top 100 Women and Leading Women programs in particular, as well as their related scholarship, networking and mentoring programs.

If there is an upside to this humbling lapse in judgment, it is the dialogue I have had with several of you, and the renewed energy and commitment it has given us to recognize the resolve, persistence and achievements of women in Maryland.

Once again, our apologies.

Suzanne Fischer-Huettner


The number of female judges in the United States continues to rise.

About 27.1 percent of federal and state judges are female, up from 26.6 percent in 2011 and 26 percent in 2010, according to a new study by the University at Albany Center For Women in Government & Civil Society.

In Maryland, women made up 33.7 percent of all total state and federal judges. Breaking the numbers down, 34.4 percent of Maryland’s state judges and 26.7 percent of its federal judges are women.

Maryland has the sixth highest percentage of women judges overall. Montana leads the country with 40.3 percent; Washington, D.C., is fourth at 37.2 percent.

Other findings from the study: women make up a total of 27.5 percent of state judges around the country; and the Northwest had the highest percentage of women judges at the state and federal level, at 30.4 percent.


  1. Must you accompany such an article with a picture of the Spice Girls or refer to these women as “girls”? You thought this was “cute”? You should know better. Would you take a similar tack in an article about Asian or African American judges? Hardly. You owe an apology to your readers, men and women.

  2. Wow…. Just…. wow. If I thought about it for several days straight, I wouldn’t have been able to dream up such an inane, irrelevant, humiliating (to the reporter who did this as well as to the judges) or just outright, randomly BIZARRE packaging for this otherwise interesting factoid! Talk about going out of your way–by several hundred miles–to do something stupid. I also love how the Spice Girls become the quotable feminist voice/perspective. “Girl power??” You gotta be kidding me. I guess this was some attempt to “sex it out.”

    This is an Onion article, I think.

    (and where was the editor? Do those creatures exist anymore?)

  3. Really, really offensive that the Daily Record the work of female judges like this. Spice Girls? Really?

    I am ashamed that this newspaper exists.

  4. Clearly a major misfire. The journalist who wrote the piece was clearly trying to be clever, which is why she threw in the Spice Girls and “girl power” reference. It may have seemed like a cute idea when she was writing it, but I think that, together, the cheekiness along with the imagery are inappropriate. I don’t think these female judges would appreciate being called girls. This disrespects them and their achievement of being named to the bench. This is proof why, in journalism, editors really do matter.

  5. This is just ludicrous. Shame on you, “girl reporter,” for shoveling this sexist [expletive].

  6. Wow, that picture barely makes sense if you were talking about women at the weight bench at the gym – which is what I thought this article was about based on the photo and the headline. But women succeeding in the legal profession has nothing to do with Spice Girl-style girl power. These are women advancing in the workplace. Show some respect.

  7. This is what young women can look forward to after college, grad school, law school , the bar and THEN being appointed to the bench? Girls? Girls??? Spice Girls?? This is not cute, this is not insightful. This is Just. Plain. Trashy. But then, I guess it what is to be expected when 50+% of the population scrambles to be appointed less that 30% of the positions. Shame on you, Daily Record.

  8. The number of female judges in the United States continues to rise. – so you thought sticking a picture of the Spice Girls along with something serious and interesting was a good idea? Couldn’t you give this information the dignity it deserved?

  9. 1) It would only be ‘girl power’ if we passed the percentage of male judges by a wide margin. Even 33% in Maryland says ‘boy power’ all the way.
    2) Girls? These are Judges you’re talking about. Women who impressed well enough as attorneys to get appointed, nominated or elected to a position of trust.
    3) Spice girls? They imply silliness, not power. My favorite female Judge has always looked like Xena the warrior princess to me. But maybe a picture of Justice would have been most appropriate.

    With such sexist articles how can I ever take the Daily record seriously?

  10. Judge Claudia Barber

    Many women in the Maryland judiciary are outraged at the article. How could The Daily Record allow the original article to be published? A credible apology is necessary.

    Judge Claudia Barber
    District 4 Director (MD, VA and DC)
    National Association of Women Judges

  11. After reading over all of this I am considering it all an outrage. If you look at the author of the blog she is from a younger generation, one where the Spice Girls stood for women’s rights, it may have been a bit distasteful but it shouldn’t be something to cause such outrage. On that note though, The Daily Record is handling it wrong. Your readers are calling for a “credible apology.” Now I didn’t see what was originally written by the editor as an apology, but I’m assuming that a sorry was given, and a we have removed the content. However, the publisher’s note is anything but a sorry. Sure she says it, but really? Using an apology to promote your events (that the people of the state see as overused events that mean nothing anymore) that’s just not what I would consider a credible apology. I’m sure she was trying to be sincere, but all I see, is an advertisement.

  12. I beg to differ with “Disappointed.” Scholars and women’s organizations have been consistently critical of the “Girl power” ideals of Spice Girls, and linked it to the sexualisation of younger children, girls in particular. In the last decade, it can be argued that the original girl power movement has become co-opted by the media and marketing industries. Amy McClure of North Carolina State University, warns against placing too much hope on girl power as an empowering concept. She says, “An ideology based on consumerism can never be a revolutionary social movement. The fact that it appears to be a revolutionary movement is a dangerous lie that not only marketers sell to us but that we often happily sell to ourselves.” “Girl power” may actually limit young women’s identity development.