Should U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen G. Breyer announce his retirement, President Joe Biden could consider appointing California Supreme Court Justice Leondra R. Kruger to replace him. The high court needs diverse perspectives to rule justly on issues that affect the entire nation. And the court once was so, with justices bringing a wealth of state and federal legislative, executive and judicial experience.

Yet in the past half-century those varied backgrounds have waned in favor of justices with increasingly similar biographies: a law degree from Yale, Columbia or Harvard; a high court clerkship; and federal appellate bench service. Appointing Kruger, who has executive branch experience and currently sits on a western state high court, would be a victory for diversity on several important fronts.