How to Judge a Potential Justice

May 2nd, 2010

By Dan Miller

Lawyers are strange critters. Frustrations have long been expressed that decisions of the Supreme Court and of lower appellate courts, written by lawyers, are so damn long and complicated that only brother members of the world’s oldest profession can understand them. Shakespeare is credited with the phrase, “Let’s kill all the lawyers,” but that’s probably not exactly what he meant.

It was noted in National Review’s April 13 Morning Jolt that

From where I sit, the modern Supreme Court has become way too wrapped up in its mystique and grandeur and inscrutability; it feels like every year or so, some intensely divisive political issue comes before nine folks, some of whom are relatively well-known (Scalia, Ginsburg) and some of whom are obscure (quick, pick Anthony Kennedy or Stephen Breyer out of a police lineup!), and they decide for us, whether we trust their good sense or not. They offer a lengthy explanation, but if you don’t have a law degree, large swaths of it are indecipherable. Half of us end up infuriated, and half of us rejoice.

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5 Responses to “How to Judge a Potential Justice”



  1. larry |

    This was a good read. Be sure to follow the link.


  2. Brianna |

    Hey, you write for Pajamas? Impressive.


  3. d |

    And I thought prostitution was the oldest profession,about the same.


  4. Andy D |

    I suspect the next Justice will be no one we have ever heard of. Probably someone that President Obama has ties to from Chicago.


  5. Tom |

    Andy, Supreme Court nominees are almost always people we’ve never heard of. And it shouldn’t be surprising that a president would nominate someone he knows or has ties to, although that usually isn’t the case.

    The bigger concern among some is that the President will almost certainly nominate someone who is unquestionably a liberal. Why would that surprise anyone? Liberal presidents nominate liberal people for judgeships, and conservative presidents nominate conservatives. That’s another reason why elections matter.


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