From the moment Stevens announced April 9 that he would leave the court, President Obama, Senate Democratic leaders and sometimes fractious liberal advocacy groups have united behind Obama's assertion that the new justice must be, like Stevens, someone who "knows that in a democracy, powerful interests must not be allowed to drown out the voices of ordinary citizens."
That thinking has continued even though none of the perceived front-runners on the list to replace Stevens would seem to embody Obama's requirement that the person have a "keen understanding of how the law affects the daily lives of the American people."
The "front-runners" being referred to here are Garland, Kagan, and Wood. I don't know enough about Garland and Kagan's background to speak to them, but I am baffled as to why Judge Wood can be so casually dismissed as being disconnected from ordinary Americans. A significant part of Judge Wood's background involves her experience as a working mother, raising three kids while trying to advance her professional career. She was somewhat pathbreaking in this role at the University of Chicago (not just for writing the university's first sexual harassment policy).
I think what's going on here is just some bored writer presuming that anybody whose C.V. includes the title "professor" and whose extra-curriculars include playing in an orchestra simply can't be considered an "ordinary American". But Judge Wood's efforts to succeed as a working mother have resonance, I believe, with many people across the country. There is no reason why that should be waved away.