TO succeed Justice David Souter on the Supreme Court, President Obama should select a nominee with experience that no other sitting justice has — service as a trial judge on a federal district court. . . .
Why is this an issue? Most Supreme Court cases are initiated in district courts, and many end up back there when they are remanded for proceedings that are consistent with the high court's ruling.
While the court's opinions affect the day-to-day operations and decisions of the district courts, many of the justices lack the practical experience that is necessary for providing district courts with clear and workable directives.
I think they make a very good point. I also think it would be valuable if someone on the court had been a criminal defense attorney and litigator (as opposed to an appellate advocate). Appellate experience is important -- it's good seasoning for a potential Supreme Court justice -- but so is experiences with how the legal system operates at the ground level.