The dearth of women named to cabinet level positions in the George H.W. Bush Administration does not augur well for appointment of women to the federal bench. Equally discouraging was Mr. Bush's campaign response to the question whether there should be special efforts to select more women for the federal judiciary: "[I] remain committed to appointing to the bench the best qualified candidates we can find-regardless of ... gender--and the record shows that we have been successful in fulfilling this commitment. " The record compiled by the Administration in which he served as Vice-President for two terms was deplorable.

To improve the situation, the Bush Administration should mount a concerted effort to recruit and nominate a significant number of highly qualified women to the federal judiciary. Precise numbers or percentages are difficult to formulate and may strike some as suggesting "quotas" or "affirmative action appointments." There is no reason, however, why this Administration could not achieve the modest goal of naming at least as many women as were appointed in the Carter Administration, particularly given the dramatic increase in women lawyers during the interim.

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