In This Year of the Tiger, Should There Be an Eye of the Tiger on Asian-Americans for the Supreme Court?


It might be time for an Asian-American Supreme Court Justice.


Štěpán Kápl/AdobeStock


Today is the first day of the Chinese New Year, 2022. It is the Year of the Tiger, and Asian Americans are an example of lesson 4 that members of SPIRIT wrote about the synagogue hostage crisis: Anti-Semitism is the canary of the xenophobia coal mine.1

Asian-Americans have been targets of harassment over the pandemic time, and fit that lesson. Now, they are being ignored for representation on the Supreme Court, as President Biden has promised to nominate a Black woman, thereby potentially increasing the representation of both Black and women citizens.

We in psychiatry know the importance of understanding and relating culturally to the patient. However, as important as it is to consider Black women for the Supreme Court, there are other large cultural groups in the United States needing such representation.

It has been thought that Chinese people born in the Year of the Tiger, among other characteristics, have a keen sense of justice and tend to be courageous, having a commitment to help others for the greater good. Sounds like those characteristics fit being a judge, don’t they?

We probably will be hearing the 1982 song “Eye of the Tiger” from the hit movie Rocky III as the Olympics begin. The song conveys perseverance and achievement, especially when being an underdog. The song has also been used in political campaigns.

Of course, Asian-Americans consist of many other ethnic and cultural groups besides Chinese. That would suggest there would be many potential candidates to represent them if the search widened. It may be an uphill underdog fight, but wouldn’t it be fitting in the Year of the Tiger to hear an announcement about an Asian-American Supreme Court nominee, accompanied by the song "Eye of the Tiger"?

Dr Moffic is an award-winning psychiatrist who has specialized in the cultural and ethical aspects of psychiatry. A prolific writer and speaker, he received the one-time designation of Hero of Public Psychiatry from the Assembly of the American Psychiatric Association in 2002. He is an advocate for mental health issues relate to climate instability, burnout, Islamophobia, and anti-Semitism for a better world. He serves on the Editorial Board of Psychiatric TimesTM.


1. Moffic HS, Seeman MV, Gorman J, Reda O. Social psychiatric lessons learned and relearned in the aftermath of the synagogue hostage crisis. Psychiatric Times. January 27, 2022.

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