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It's Miers:

White House counsel Harriett Miers will be nominated to the Supreme Court. I know absolutely nothing about Ms. Miers, beyond the basics from the media. But my initial reaction is that it's unfortunate (but not surprising) that for both Supreme Court nominations, the president has chosen well-connected insiders with ties to the executive branch, rather than individuals who are more likely to bring a more "independent" perspective to issues of government and especially presidential power. And appointing his "personal lawyer" from Texas seems very Lyndon Johnsonish, and is hardly likely to repel recent charges of Bush Administration cronyism. On the other hand, I'm please that Miers is (a) not from an elite law school; (b) not a federal judge; and (c) spent the vast majority of her career outside the beltway. All good things to bring new perspectives to the Court, and, in the case of (b), break a silly tradition [that Justices MUST be from the federal bench] that has evolved.

UPDATE: Comments on the conservative "confirmthem" site are apoplectic. This nomination may give the president some problems with his base.

FURTHER UPDATE: What do Miers and Roberts have in common? They both have significant executive branch experience, and both seem more likely than other potential candidates to uphold the Administration on issues related to the War on Terror (e.g., Padilla and whether a citizen arrested in the U.S. can be tried in military court). Conservative political activists want someone who will interpret the Constitution in line with conservative judicial principles. But just as FDR's primary goal in appointing Justices was to appoint Justices that would uphold the centerpiece of his presidency, the New Deal, which coincidentally resulted in his appointing individuals who were liberal on other things, perhaps Bush sees his legacy primarily in terms of the War on Terror, and appointing Justices who will acquiesce in exercises of executive authority is his priority, even if it isn't the priority of either his base or the nation as a whole. Such Justices may be coincidentally conservative on other issues, just as FDR's nominees moved the USSC generally to the Left. Thoughts?

Al Maviva (mail):
Evidently, Michael Brown was too busy working on other matters...
10.3.2005 9:01am
Jeremy (mail):
Can we all just concede from the get-go that if Harriet Miers were Harry Miers, she (he) would have absolutely no shot at a Supreme Court appointment?

I hate identity politics.
10.3.2005 9:01am
WB:
Why is it a "silly tradition" to nominate Supreme Court Justices who have some experience being judges?
10.3.2005 9:02am
William Spieler (mail) (www):
What is Miers' association with Exodus Ministries?
10.3.2005 9:09am
Dave Egger (mail):
he said federal judges. There's these people that work in these places called states, and do this thing where two lawyers argue something in front of them and they have to make a decision. I think it's called being a judge.

This nominee doesn't seem to have any judge experience, but I don't think that much matters, either. It brings new perspective.
10.3.2005 9:09am
MJ (mail):
Conservatives are going to be ambivalent at best. We are left to simply trust the President as to whether or not Miers will be a judge like he promised when so many of us campaigned so hard for him in 04.

While the President has been damn good on judges so far, this pick is dissappointing and will bring on a torrent of cronyism charges.

He could have given the base a bona fide conservative like Luttig, Alito, Williams ect... Seems like a missed opportunity.

Hope I am proven wrong over time, but this was not a great pick on it's face.
10.3.2005 9:13am
William Spieler (mail) (www):
And is that www.exodus-international.org or www.exodusministriesinc.com? Because if it's the former, she's going to get a hell of a lot of opposition.
10.3.2005 9:13am
rbj:
Might she be sent up as a sacrificial lamb, to get voted down by the Senate and then replaced by someone with judicial experience, such as Janice Rogers Brown?
10.3.2005 9:13am
WB:
Good point. I've heard of these things. Some people say that they're administrative subdivisions, and others say that they're more like separate countries that share a military.

If the federal judges only is the silliness, fine. If the tradition of appointing justices who have been judges in the past is the "silly" part, then I'd have to disagree. I don't think that prior judge experience should be an absolute prerequisite, but I also don't think it's silly to feel better about choosing a nominee with judicial experience than one without it.

"Perspective" isn't necessarily good. I'm sure that Jeremy Shockey would bring "perspective" to the Supreme Court, but not the sort that anyone would find desirable. He's certainly not a top-3 law school type, nor has he ever been a federal judge.

From Miers' bio, she certainly seems to be qualified. I hope that the Senate treats her fairly and I hope that it does turn out that she's up to the job.
10.3.2005 9:19am
Jeremy (mail):

From Miers' bio, she certainly seems to be qualified. I hope that the Senate treats her fairly and I hope that it does turn out that she's up to the job.


Sorry, but on what basis is she qualified for the Supreme Court? That she was the first female president of the Dallas Bar? That she served on the Dallas City Council? Not only is she "arguably unqualified," she IS unqualified.
10.3.2005 9:24am
Guest2 (mail):
1. I had the very same thought that rbj just expressed.

2. In what way is being "from an elite law school" a negative?
10.3.2005 9:26am
anonymous coward:
But she will win confirmation without a fillibuster (absent a bombshell)--which is the one qualification that Luttig et al lacked.
10.3.2005 9:29am
Jeremy (mail):
There is absolutely no way the President would risk ANOTHER political defeat by nominating someone as a "sacrifical lamb." To those who think that, you're probably Bush supporters in denial. I'm a Bush supporter who has realized I probably shouldn't be a Bush supporter. Bush nominated Miers because he has absolutely no clue.
10.3.2005 9:29am
lyle (mail):
Unqualified. I have no problem with her not being from an "elite" law school. However, she is still unqualified. Personally, I don't know about either ministry mentioned above...but I hope it's the worst. This better be a 'Fortas' nomination.

Bush et al. convinced alot of non-political evangelicals to get involved. They just proved that politics is just lies. They just lost a huge portion of their base; at least the part that became activist and will now tell their troops to let the Devil have the world.
10.3.2005 9:31am
Jeremy (mail):
Yet more wonderful news:

She's contributed to the Democratic Party, Al Gore, and Lloyd Bentsen. I need some scotch.
10.3.2005 9:32am
NYSofMind:
Genuinely curious: why are you happy that she didn't go to an elite law school?
10.3.2005 9:37am
CJ:
"Genuinely curious: why are you happy that she didn't go to an elite law school?"
Breadth of opinion? Anti-elitism?

Association with organizations of lawyers, and links to the occasionally corrupt and always poorly run Dallas city government. I am not impressed at all.
10.3.2005 9:41am
Public_Defender:
What elso has Bush done that would make conservatives think that he would base a decision on cronyism rather than on "what's right"? Hmmmmmmmm.

It looks like conservatives are starting to see the same qualities in Bush that we liberals have been talking about since 2000 (and Texas liberals since before then).
10.3.2005 9:42am
Stephen M (Ethesis) (mail) (www):
That she served on the Dallas City Council?

Then, by definition, she was part of the Democratic party at some point, regardless of what her politics or positions look like.

And would explain the donations, at least some of them.
10.3.2005 9:46am
Guest44 (mail):
What background is necessary to be a good Justice? For that matter, who are some Justices universally recognized as good?

Where does C.J. Marshall fit into your scheme?
10.3.2005 9:52am
No identification for me:
She is an interesting, broad base individual, much closer to the President's "real" self than the one we usually get.

Everyone will note that when she sent her "partner" to the Texas Legal Auxillary meeting at the Texas annual bar meeting, she sent another woman, though she was against identify politics on the state bar level, feeling that a gay/lesbian/etc. section would be a step backwards, not a step forwards.

The democrats ought to be pleased, not complaining.
10.3.2005 9:53am
Aultimer:
I've seen Ms. Meirs' litigate (corporate client, my side). She's a VERY smart lawyer, and is clearly qualified to be a trial judge. Whether she's qualified for SCOTUS is in the eye of the beholder.
10.3.2005 10:05am
Jeremy (mail):
No identification for me,

Are you alleging that she's a lesbian?
10.3.2005 10:05am
Public_Defender:
She donated to the Democrats until the early 90's. Then she switched parties. I hope this doesn't mean she's a finger-in-the-wind kind of person.
10.3.2005 10:06am
Jeremy (mail):
Aultimer,

Most smart lawyers are qualified to be trial judges. But this is the Supreme Frickin' Court!
10.3.2005 10:07am
Guest44 (mail):
Jeremy -- Compare, say, Scalia and Breyer. Arguably very similar in terms of brainpower and credentials. Yet they disagree about nearly everything. I think when faced with this, it's going to be nearly impossible to come up with some kind of list of objective job qualifications that Miers doesn't meet.
10.3.2005 10:23am
paulhager (mail) (www):
I think the observations in the "update" are correct. After 9/11, Bush has subordinated everything to the War on Terror. He moved way to the left in his domestic policy - I describe it as going Nixon. I've accepted it, grudgingly, because I think the War on Terror really is the most important issue facing the country at the moment.
10.3.2005 10:24am
MrFiveYearsAtBerkeley (mail):
Maybe the President watched that short-lived UPN show, "Jack and Bobby" where the future President, Bobby McAllister, appointed his fourth grade buddy because he knew he'd get struck down and then he could put in a superqualified judge.

At least I sure hope that's where the President got this idea, because that would suggest that there's an idea behind this.
10.3.2005 10:24am
MDL (mail):
"In what way is being 'from an elite law school' a negative?"

I don't think being from an elite law school is a negative, but nominating Supreme Court justices exclusively from the ranks of elite law school alumni certainly is. High court candidates with a sharp intellect and an extraordinary career deserve consideration regardless of how high the law school they attended was ranked. And when a nominee from a non-elite law school is offered to the Senate, it is generally a good thing because this notion is reinforced.

Now, whether Ms. Miers' career qualifies as "extraordinary" or her intellect "sharp" is a matter on which I have reserved judgment.
10.3.2005 10:31am
Public_Defender:
Most smart lawyers are qualified to be trial judges. But this is the Supreme Frickin' Court!

I disagree strongly. Most smart lawyers are qualified to be appellate judges. Trial judges often have to rule from the gut, so common sense is more important than raw brainpower. But the really good ones have both.
10.3.2005 10:33am
Observer (mail):
Souter-lite, IMHO.

1) Not by any stretch an intellectual heavyweight. Maybe as smart as the average Justice, if we're lucky. In that respect, another O'Connor, who was, in Scalia's memorable phrase, "dumb as a post."

2) As with Souter, we have to take the President's word that she isn't going to "legislate from the bench." But once Justices are on the Court, with life tenure, they have a habit of forgetting their ties to the men who appointed them. The power goes to their head, they start to look forward to the favorable editorials in the NYT, they start believing that they can use their power to move the country in a progressive way, blah, blah. It takes someone with a strong and well-developed judicial philosophy, a long-held commitment to judicial restraint and faithfulness to the actual words of the Constitution, to resist the temptations of power.

3) The fact that she has never served as a judge is not particularly damning. It used to be common for non-judges to be nominated to the Court (e.g., Rehnquist, Powell, Warren, Frankfurter, Douglas, White, R. Jackson, Goldberg, Black). I can think of plenty of non-judges who would make great Justices (Miguel Estrada or Larry Thompson or Ted Olsen, for example). But at least from the publicly available information, it's hard to see that Meier is of that caliber.

4) It's pretty obvious that this appointment was driven by the desire to nominate a woman who at least arguably was qualified and who would be difficult to filibuster. So, we get Souter-lite.
10.3.2005 10:33am
Phil (mail):
In the sixties, it was common to have Justices who had little or no prior judicial experience. I am not necessarily a fan of William Douglas, Hugo Black, Felix Frankfurter, Earl Warren, etc. but that none of them were qualified seems a stretch. Robert Jackson, of who I am a fan, neither finished law school nor had prior judicial service.
I clerked for a (state) supreme court justice and my legal skills, narrowly defined, may have been as good as his. He supplied more wisdom and perspective than I will probably ever have. I do not know if Miers has either wisdom or perspective, but time as a federal judge would do nothing to improve either. Assuming that she has wisdom and perspective, and is willing to learn, I could teach her the skills that she needs (assuming that she lacks them) in 45 days.
Finally, confirmability is not irrelevant. If the only consideration were qualifications in some (mostly) objective sense, then the nominee should be Judge Edith Jones. Ignoring the confirmation process would, however, be the final proof that the administration is divorced from reality.
Miers would not have been my first choice, or second, but that is not the standard. With luck, she may bring a different perspective to the Court.
10.3.2005 10:36am
GMW:
The best reaction I've seen so far:

"[T]he worst kind of squalid cronyism. Abe Fortas in a dress."
10.3.2005 10:40am
Joseph Henchman (mail):
Phil-

Robert Jackson was Solicitor General and Attorney General of the United States before being named to the Supreme Court. He had a reputation as an excellent litigator. So no I don't think we can thus conclude that any lawyer of any caliber is therefore qualified for the Supreme Court.
10.3.2005 10:45am
von (mail) (www):
Your "further update" is brilliant.

No opinion on the nominee.
10.3.2005 10:45am
Houston Lawyer:
The fact that she is an affirmative action hire bothers me much less than the fact that there are other Texas women who are obviously more qualified. She may in fact be a smart woman who will do herself credit on the court, but I don't know how we're supposed to know that in advance. If the Democrats come up with anything the least bit juicy with their opposition research on her, I don't see why Republicans should expend political capital in pushing her nomination. Clearly, the president should get a Mulligan on this one.
10.3.2005 10:59am
Redman:
This is such a disastrous pick that the only rationale I can come up with is that it's intended as a sacrificial lamb to the democrats. The real pick will come later. Miers is such a loyalist and team player that she could well have agreed to play such a role for Bush.
10.3.2005 11:01am
aslanfan (mail):
Harold Carswell in a dress, no?

"Even if he is mediocre, there are a lot of mediocre judges and people and lawyers. They are entitled to a little representation, aren't they?" - Roman Hruska in defense of Harold Carswell on the charges that he was 'mediocre'
10.3.2005 11:01am
mike:
If W is true to his campaign promises .... to nominate someone in the Scalia/Thomas mold .... then I'm sure the lady fits that criteria. He's worked with her for years so hiding her feelings/philosophy isn't a possibility.

W isn't much of a second amendment guy ... supporting the Assualt Weapons Ban ... AG Gonzales' Agents confiscating weapons in NO ... etc. So I'm concerned. But, the reality is that Kerry as President would be worse.
10.3.2005 11:01am
Anderson (mail) (www):
Join those who think DB has it right: Bush wants justices who are Executive Branch insiders and who will approve sweeping expansions of executive power, under the rubric (guise?) of the GWOT.

American citizens arrested on American soil and held indefinitely without being indicted? No problemo!

(The more I think about the Padilla case, the more I realize that there are few if any conservatives left in America. Very sad, because a liberal-conservative balance is a good thing to have. Of course, not many liberals either. All we have is identity politics, including the identity of "fundamentalist rabble-rouser.")
10.3.2005 11:07am
Rainsborough (mail):
I am struck by the high priority Bush seems to assign to defending the legally tendentious position his subaltern John Yoo has staked out, the notion that as Commander-in-Chief the president or his designees may--as it looks to me--detain and even torture without being accountable in any court. Though he has yet to cast a veto, he has threatened to veto a bill that merely requires him to stay within the bounds of law.
Do conservatives generally share the president's view of the extent and purpose of executive authority? Do they agree with me that the president's views are as I have described?
10.3.2005 11:17am
Per Son:
We are going so off topic, so I'll chime in. I do not agree much with Scalia, but he was great in his Hamdi dissent. To paraphrase: if he is a citizen, arrest and charge him with a crime. If you will not do that, let him go.

Only Thomas was willing to argue for an Imperial President.

This Miers is getting everyone in a ruffle, so Bush is probably just snickering now.
10.3.2005 11:22am
Anderson (mail) (www):
Okay, it's official: Miers is an unqualified danger to the republic.

Yglesias quotes David Frum:

In the White House that hero worshipped the president, Miers was distinguished by the intensity of her zeal: She once told me that the president was the most brilliant man she had ever met.

Obviously, this person shouldn't be trusted to watch your dog, let alone sit on the high Court. (Unless she really is a crypto-lesbian, &that was her ironic comment on male intelligence in general?)

And no, don't pile on for my saying that W.'s a moron. I didn't say that. But is he really "the most brilliant man" that ANYONE has ever met? Come now.
10.3.2005 11:31am
Jackjohn (mail):
Miers gave a thousand dollars to Al Gore's presidential run in 1988. Remember how he couldn't secure the nomination because he was too affiliated with tobacco, too hard on abortion, and too hawkish on foreign policy? Yeah, that's when he was her man. I think that more or less says where she's at. Al Gore in 1988 is farther to the right than the tax-and-spend W of the past two years.
10.3.2005 11:41am
Phil (mail):
Joseph Henchman
I do not disagree with you. I was mostly addressing the education and federal judge points. If I came across as supportive when I intended to come across as optimistic I apologize. If I had seen Observer's post before I hit "POST COMMENT" I probably would not have bothered.
10.3.2005 11:47am
roy solomon (mail):
If the premise of confirmthem.com is that the president won the election and has the right to nominate anyone he sees fit, and barring information that the nominee is a baby killer, senators are obliged to confirm them, what are people there griping about?
10.3.2005 11:58am
SP:
"Do conservatives generally share the president's view of the extent and purpose of executive authority? Do they agree with me that the president's views are as I have described?"

No, and I think the bothersome thing is that there's been no "need" for it yet. The curious thing about Padilla, Hamdi, etc, is that the people in question weren't exactly sitting on a gold mine of information, and the circumstances haven't been so critical as to suggest why in the world this process would be needed. If Padilla knew that there was a bomb in the city of Miami set to go off in two hours, I could see hoe you could morally justify, even if not legally justify, some, um, "expediated" legal procedures.

But Padilla is a hack, probably acting alone. I'm not convinced that anyone in Guatanamo was ever crucial to Al Qaeda's operations - just foot soldiers.

So we've basially created a massive controversy and a distraction - never mind the legal implications down the road - over nobodies.
10.3.2005 12:17pm
Defending the Indefensible:
O'Connor-lite, perhaps?

I think she's confirmable despite the discomfort of the conservative base, because the republicans in the senate aren't about to vote against the president's nominee, and the democrats are probably overjoyed. Unless someone digs up some serious dirt on her, she's in.

With that said, I think she's certainly not "highly qualified" for the job, and if the ABA determines she's actually "unqualified" that could still torch the nomination.
10.3.2005 12:35pm
SP:
I've never rooted for the ABA like this in my life - drop the "unqualified" bomb, please!
10.3.2005 12:39pm
Defending the Indefensible:
A ruse, perhaps?

Frankly, the big prize for the Bush administration isn't the O'Connor slot, but the prospective replacement of Stevens should he retire. Perhaps by putting up such a puff nominee, they feel they will have less opposition to the latter. O'Connor was a lightweight moderate, so Miers won't substantially change the balance of the court except to weaken her slot further.
10.3.2005 12:46pm
Defending the Indefensible:
Another point.

Miers was apparently the point woman on selecting judicial nominees, so presumably she had a great deal to do with the selection of Roberts. Perhaps she is expected to be deferential to Roberts' opinions on the court?
10.3.2005 12:55pm
Jackjohn (mail):
Professor Garnett put it best when he said that he is pleased by the fact that the person who gave us Roberts and Brown and Owen will be sitting on the Court.
10.3.2005 12:58pm
NYSofMind:
On the question of celebrating the avoidance of an elite law school grad:
"Breadth of opinion? Anti-elitism?"

Sorry to have taken so long to check back.

Ah... I get the sense that people always think of law as being like politics or literature. But... Law is a profession, in a way that politician and novelist are not. There's a strong degree of linearity of competence. You never celebrate when a hospital chooses a doctor from Ole Miss' medical school over a Johns Hopkins doctor. Why avoid elite law school lawyers?
10.3.2005 1:30pm
MDL (mail):
NYSoftMind,

You have it totally completely wrong about medical schools.

(1) Your analogy to medical schools isn't very helpful. There is no elite medical school in the same sense as an elite law school. It is the residency program that carries all the weight, because that is where the most important medical training takes place. Grades and Boards scores count for more than the name of the medical school, unlike the legal profession.

(2) Your linearity of competence, in my opinion, is fabulously, utterly wrong. There are a tremendous number of outstanding lawyers from non-elite law schools who, by virtue of scoring a point or two lower on their LSAT, didn't get into a top 5 law school and consequently had a harder time landing as high profile a job or clerkship than their "elite" counterpart. Law school admissions are geared as a predictor of how well one will perform in their first year of legal training, not their career as a whole. I have often heard said of some ivy league law schools, "the hardest part is getting in."

(3) I hope your snide comment about Ole Miss' medical school was not meant to denigrate standards of care in the Deep South. I am far more comfortable placing my life in the hands of a doctor from Mississippi or Alabama, where I would wager the medical care is better and more advanced, than with a harried and HMO-burdened resident at Columbia-Presbyterian.
10.3.2005 2:01pm
NYSofMind:
I certainly didn't mean to denigrate the medical care standards of the south; I've had relatives who received the absolute best of care in Kentucky. That said, there's much more research going on in the northeast corridor, and therefore more advanced treatments are generally available in Boston-New York-Baltimore hospitals than elsewhere, with notable exceptions at Cedars-Sinai, the Cleveland Clinic, the Mayo Clinic, and other regional centers. It's simply easier when there are five research hospitals in a single neighborhood-- and Boston is the world center for medical research, so city-wide, the number is far greater.

I didn't want that point missed, so I put it first. Now:
1) The residency you get is intimately tied to where you went to school, as it is with summer associateships in law. the best students from the best schools get the spots that give the best training.
2) There are, indeed, a tremendous number of lawyers who are fantastically beyond competent who didn't go to top-tier law schools. That said, top-tier law schools, at least in the New York area (yes, I know, a near-fatal caveat in this crowd, but it's the largest legal market in the country, so it has a fierce effect on legal culture nationwide), put much more of an emphasis on the kind of theory and reasoning method that goes into writing an appellate decision than do the others; for that matter, when you go to a jury trial, you're better off with a Hofstra lawyer than an NYU lawyer. But when it comes to decision writing, top-tier-school-trained judges have just received better training in the relevant methods.
Also, I disagree that the distinctions are meaningless. there aren't 5 elite schools in the country. There are about 20-- enough to encompass a wide range of undergraduate intstitutions and LSAT scores. Obviously jumping from number 20 to number 21 doesn't make much of a difference, but, speaking as a non-Harvard student (with something of a grudge against the crimson monster, to boot) I have been more impressed by Harvard law students' intellect than I have been by students at any other school. The student body is *actually* smarter. I don't see why we shoudl seek to limit the influence of the kinds of entities that encourage the grouping of extremely intelligent people.
10.3.2005 2:43pm
MDL (mail):
NYSoftMind,

Your point about the number of elite schools is well-taken, but I think that a look at a nominee's career is far more instructive than where they went to law school. If one is weighing two candidates with similarly impressive legal careers, is it really so important (or dispositive) where they went to law school?
10.3.2005 5:17pm
NYSofMind:
No, it isn't; I just bristle when people celebrate that someone is explicitly *not* from an elite school.
10.3.2005 6:35pm
Challenge:
A nominee needn't possess an elite law school education, but a nominee, I think, should have a public history of thinking seriously about issues of constitutional interpretation. With Roberts, we got the sense he was a strong "movement" conservative from his Reagan era memos, and his practice as a supreme court specialist certainly proved he had a history of thinking deeply about complex issues of constitutional intepretation. Most conservatives accepted his nomination as the "moderate" pick intended to replace O'Connor, even though they would have preferred a candidate with more positions on record. Now he looks like the conservative choice.

This is probably the dumbest thing Bush has done to date, and that says something. Republican Senators should reject the President's choice. I do not want to see President Bush suffer a defeat, but the rule of law and the Supreme Court is more important than one's party or its figurehead. Bush betrayed his party and failed to follow through (or even try) on his promises, and he needs to be taken to task for it.
10.3.2005 9:31pm
Yankee_Mark:
I also cannot buy the "Sacrificial Lamb Theory" with an expectation of following-up with the "real" nominee ... due to the danger of Senate Democrats deciding to "call the bluff!" If they sensed such a game was afoot and/or felt like the follow-on would be (from their perspective) far worse ... wouldn't then they be wise (or at least self-interested) to vote as a bloc to confirm Miers?

I agree with prior opinions that Bush's Grand Design here is to get a justice who will not check his expansive view of executive power. I still wonder with things like this and the Patriot Act. One wonders how the Administration and their allies feel about the thought/possibility of these tools landing in Hillary's hands in 2009?
10.3.2005 10:52pm
WB:
OK, so when I said this (From Miers' bio, she certainly seems to be qualified. I hope that the Senate treats her fairly and I hope that it does turn out that she's up to the job.), I had a mistaken impression of what the White House counsel actually did. If anyone's still looking at this thread, I take it back.
10.4.2005 8:14am
Rhadamanthus (mail):
With all due respect to the self titles "leader of the free world" has he gone round the bend? Did he by any chance put 10 approved names in a hat and pull one out? Or can we now assume that he will be naming a judge as the Secretary of State for Health?

Since when did it become a bad idea for a judge to have a little experience before depriving them of all judicial accountability? Plucking Clarence Thomas, with 2 years experience on the court, and John Roberts, also with 2 years, is bad enough but a person with no judicial experience? Out of interest, in following this trend, will he be replcaing her as White House Counsel by picking a new graduate from Harvard or Yale? Or (shock, horror) will POTUS pick someone with experience in a similar role.

I had hoped for a judicial heavyweight to replace O'Connor, if a conservative was necessary could he not have found a Scalia or a Rehnquist? From the middle, another O'Connor? Someone who could give the Senate a reason to confirm them. Instead he has turned to his own lawyer.
10.4.2005 2:29pm