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The worldview of Kim Wardlaw, Judge


To begin with, it is necessary to mention the fact that the work by Judge Kim Wardlaw is featured by professionalism, high qualification, and justice. Originally, by the time she had become the first Hispanic woman in the US judicial system of the Court of Appeals, she clearly knew how to break barriers and how to achieve the setup aim in the judging (and not only) process. On the one hand, such an approach to work seems to be full of partisanship and the wish to act effectively with maximum victims from the opposite side. However, it should be emphasized that her work requires thorough analysis, as it entails the features of several divisions.

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She was born in 1954 and has Mexican Scottish and Irish blood mixed. Her temperament helped her throughout her life, and graduation from the University of California is more of an ambition than a necessity. She graduated summa cum laude from UCLA with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication. She was elected to the Phi Beta Kappa Society. (Burgess, 1999) This only emphasizes her aspiration towards reaching the top.

From Dr. Green’s position, she may be attributed to the “Mainline Protestants” category, as it is the category of those who are internally diverse, including traditionalists, centrists, and modernists.

Career Analysis

Judge Kim Wardlaw started her career as a clerk in the United States District Court for the Central District of California, under Honorable William P. Gray’s supervision. There she showed her high professiona level and the wish to improve her skills. Consequently, after that job she had an opportunity to start her private practice, which she had successfully used, and was employed as a partner at the international legislative company O’Melveny & Myers. This is the feature of protestants, as they are diplomatic, concentrated, and aspirated, consequently, they are able to reach any location and get any job. Kim Wardlaw was engaged in the business litigation sphere and was also specialized in intellectual property and media defense law.

While working for O’Melveny & Myers she became involved in the issues of local and national politics. She was working with William J. Clinton during his presidential campaign of 1991-1992, and later she was engaged into the Clinton-Gore Presidential Transition Team working with the United States Department of Justice.

Starting from 1993 Kim Wardlaw, as a judge served for the Executive Committee on Debate Preparation for the Riordan for Mayer Campaign. After Richard Riordan’s success in the Mayor elections, she was requested for the work at Riordan’s Government Liaison during the mayoral transition.

In 1995 President Clinton appointed Judge Wardlaw to the United States District Court for the Central District of California. Three years later she was appointed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Upon her confirmation by the United States Senate in that same year, Judge Wardlaw became the first Hispanic woman appointed to any United States Court of Appeals. (Jackson, 2006).

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Throughout her entire career, Judge Wardlaw participated in numerous civic organizations and is regarded among the most active partakers. She was appointed for several ranks in the Women Lawyers Public Action Grant Foundation, the Association of Business Trial Lawyers, the National Organization for Women, the Los Angeles County Bar Association, and the UCLA Center for Communication Policy. (Merritt, 2004) This represents her as the active partaker in the civil rights movement and as the active and professional democracy and justice distributor. She was deeply involved in the Mexican-American Bar Association of Los Angeles, Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles, the Organization of Women Executives, Downtown Women Partners, the Chancery Club of Los Angeles, and the Los Angeles Music Center, and this is not the complete list of all her engagements. (Tushnet, 1999) Such variety of interests and active living positions may be attributed only to the modernist Protestants, as they are active, always aim to place the central rank and actively defend their point of view.

Before the appointment for the bench, she positioned herself as the author of numerous articles and comments on the civil processes and the issues linked with civil rights, human dignity, and intellectual property. One of her comments is entitled “Access to State-Owned Communications Media – The Public Forum Doctrine” (Schmidhauser, 2001). Levinson (2002) emphasizes that it was written for the University of California Law Review, which was intended for young law practitioners and law students. Thus, she is actively interested in the increase of the young specialists and does everything possible in order to get them interested in the issues she is engaged in.

Jeffries (2004) states the following: “Judge Wardlaw’s distinguished judicial career, scholarly work, and community activities have not gone unnoticed. She was named in California Law Business as “One of Top 25 Lawyers Under Age 45” in 1993 and was named in the Los Angeles Business Journal as one of “One of 100 Most Prominent Business Attorneys in Los Angeles County” in 1995. She received the Buddy Award from the National Organization for Women in 1995 and in 2000 received an honorary doctor of humane letters degree from St. Mary’s College.” Originally, these facts position her as Jewish (from Green’s point of view) as they were kept as a separate category because of their distinctive politics; similarly, Judge Wardlaw differs from all the other judges. Nevertheless, she still keeps the features of Mainline Protestants, as her activity is traditional, centrist, and modernist.

Currently, Judge Wardlaw goes on serving as the active judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. She is specialized in the issues of media defense, intellectual property, and human rights. She is an active researcher of the new trends of these issues, however, despite the deep research and the extended practice she noticed that the extent to which the Fourth Amendment provides protection for the contents of electronic communications in the Internet Age is an open question (Wardlaw in Jackson, 2006). Originally this may be regarded as another feature, which attributes her to Mainline Protestantism, as she does not close the question up, and gives an opportunity for the others to make a contribution additionally to her researches and experience.


Personal Rights and Criminal Justice

The analysis of the cases which she regarded as a judge must help to make the final decision on the issue, whether she may be attributed to Protestants, and features of what other religious categories according to Dr. Green she has.

The first case study relates to the issues of Criminal Justice. The case of a 13-year-old Arizona girl was regarded in January 2009. The Supreme Court agreed that her constitutional rights were violated when school officials’ strip-searched her for prescription-strength ibuprofen. (Palmer, 2009). The court also considered whether the school executive who allowed this search is guilty of damages, however, this consideration may be regarded as unconstitutional. Anyway, the principle of using any means for reaching success and finding the truth can not be used extensively, especially if these means are associated with the violation of someone’s rights, consequently, it exceeds the frames of Mainline Protestantism, and may be regarded as the manifestation of Jewish features, with mixed Unaffiliated group.

Regarding this case, it was also emphasized that the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco ruled 8-3 in favor of Savana Redding, of Safford, Arizona, who was strip-searched, and this search was grounded on a classmate’s not confirmed accusation that she was concealing the prescription-strength ibuprofen remedy. (Palmer, 2009).

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Judge Kim Wardlaw, in her turn, claimed that the school officials were acting contrary to all reasonable norms and common sense as they ignored her legal and personal interests as well as her constitutional rights of privacy and security of her person. She emphasized, that the tip from the informant could not be regarded as reliable, especially taking into account that the girl had never been mentioned taking such remedies before, consequently, her claims on the matters of unconstitutionality appear to be firmly grounded and reasonable. Wardlaw also emphasized that school officials essentially exaggerated the situation by searching for nothing more than a prescription-strength generic of ibuprofen ‑ a pain killer that is generally sold free in smaller doses. Officials were sure that this girl was attempting to sell the drugs to other students, and could have concealed pills underneath her clothes, so they kept her in the office and forced her to remove the clothes, instead of sending her home, as she felt sick. Surely, such behavior was regarded as a violation of personal freedom safety, and dignity, and the officials could be accused of unconstitutional behavior. “We reject Safford’s efforts to lump together these run-of-the-mill anti-inflammatory pills with the evocative term ‘prescription drugs,’ in a knowing effort to shield an imprudent strip search of a young girl behind a larger war against drugs”, ‑ Judge Wardlaw emphasized.

Homosexuality and Right for Privacy

The problem of this case was stated during the security mania which started after the 9/11 events. Presidential Directive No. 12 by the Department of Homeland Security claimed that a uniform badge should be used by employees to gain access to government facilities. Most agencies allowed this directive to become a dead letter, as it is too complex and rather expensive for implementation. NASA Administrator Michael Griffin expressed deep dissatisfaction with this directive, as it meant unrestricted and allover access to the personal lives of the scientist workers. This directive has become the price for most Americans for keeping their jobs, while special forces were given all over permission to spy and collect every gossip, which originally violate the dignity of the workers.

The investigators wished to get permission for seeking information about employees and applicants by asking them any question they considered reasonable. JPL scientists could be subjected to issuing of any information collected of them, up to credit history, sodomy incest, abusive language unlawful assembly, homosexuality, etc.

It is known that a district court judge originally disagreed, however, a three-judge panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals overturned that ruling. Addressing a unanimous panel Judge Kim M. Wardlaw claimed for the background checks and highlighted that scientists’ claim is reasonable.

Tim Rutten (2008) describes the situation from the point of view of judges and claims that scientists also have the right to privacy. He emphasizes the following: They’re due back in court next month. Many at the lab believe that there’s more than governmental overreaching at work here. They point out that Griffin is one of those who remain skeptical that human actions contribute to global warming, and that some of JPL’s near-Earth science has played a critical role in establishing the empirical case to the contrary. They see the background checks as the first step toward establishing a system of intimidation that might be used to silence inconvenient science.

Taking into account that homosexuality is not closely linked with the regarded case, it is necessary to emphasize that issues of homosexuality and sexual minorities are not regarded at the governmental level by the Circuit Court of Appeals (at least, there are no precedents solved by Kim Wardlaw), however, the respect of personal life and the freedom of sexual orientation, as well as other personal freedoms is highly estimated in the Judicial system of the United States of America. Judge Wardlaw supports this notion and regards similar instances as the serious violation of personal basic freedoms, which are the essence of free life in a democratic country.

This case once more points out the belonging of Kim Wardlaw to Protestants. The reasons for this belonging have been already enlisted and discussed, however, it is necessary to add that her liberal attitude towards those who may be suspected of crimes against humanity is impressive, and this attitude is attributed not only to Protestants, but to several other classifications.

Religious Freedom

Religious freedom is among other personal freedom is regarded to be essential freedom of any person. Originally, everyone should not be discriminated against on the basis of religion confessed, neither anyone can be discriminated against for religious change. The regarded case touches upon the interests of a Jewish couple. They claim that their rights were violated, as they wish their taxes to be reduced. It is stated that only members of the Church of Scientology are getting a friendly reception from a federal appeals court, increasing the possibility of a ruling that could create a tax break for taxpayers of many religions who pay tuition to religious schools (Gerstein, 2008). The arguments on this case helped judges to reveal essential skepticism on the matter of the IRS’s position that the way the agency regards Scientologists is immaterial to the decrease the Orthodox Jews, Michael and Marla Sklar, took for part of their children’s day school fee and for after-school classes in Jewish law. (Gerstein, 2008)

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“The view of the IRS is it can unconstitutionally violate the Constitution by establishing religion, by treating one religion more favorably than other religions in terms of what is allowed as deductions, and there can never be any judicial review of that?” Judge Kim Wardlaw requested at the court session (Caldwell, 2003).

The view of this problem by Kim Wardlaw is regarded as prejudiced. Originally, she is right, as there is no violation in the actions and policies by the Church of Scientology, however, these people have the right to claim for equal treatment, and this case may become the precedent for further solutions. Anyway, this case can not classify Kim Warlaw as Jewish, and she is neither Unaffiliated. However this case confirms her belonging to Mainline Protestants, as progressive view, liberalism, the modernist approach is observed throughout the entire case.


It has been already emphasized that the professionalism and high qualification of Kim Wardlaw as a judge are highly respected by her colleagues, students, and officials. Originally, she is regarded as a liberal, progressive, and internally diverse person and these features are attributed to Protestants (mostly Mainline Protestants) according to Green’s classification. This belonging neither compromises her nor makes her favor, as she is a highly professional expert without any classification.

Another essential fact is her ability to keep cool in any situation. Originally, this exceeds the frames of Green’s classification, as this feature is not attributed to religions, nevertheless, it does not mean that she is heartless, and this is the feature of every Christian.


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  3. Gerstein, J. (2008) “Judges Press IRS on Church Tax Break” the Sun |2008.
  4. Green, J. (2004) “The American Religious Landscape and Political Attitudes: A Baseline for 2004”
  5. Fitschen, S. (1998) “Impeaching Federal Judges: a Covenantal and Constitutional Response to Judicial Tyranny” Regent University
  6. Jackson, V. C. (2006). Constitutional Law and Transnational Comparisons: The Youngstown Decision and American Exceptionalism. Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy, 30(1), 191
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  10. Merritt, D. J. (2004). Who Teaches Constitutional Law?. Constitutional Commentary, 11(1), 145-161.
  11. Palmer, C. (2009) “Supreme Court to rule on strip search of 13-year-old Arizona schoolgirl”
  12. Rutten, T. (2008) “Inquisition at JPL” Los Angeles Times,  2008
  13. Schmidhauser, J. R. (Ed.). (2001). Constitutional Law in the Political Process. Chicago: Rand McNally.
  14. Schwartz, B. (1955). American Constitutional Law. Cambridge, England:
  15. Tushnet, M. V. (1999). The Possibilities of Comparative Constitutional Law. Yale Law Journal, 108(6), 1225.

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