Harriet MiersPoliticsSupreme Court

Harriet Miers Watch: Criteria to Be Nominated to the United States Supreme Court

Supreme court nominee Harriet Miers meets Senator Herbert Kohl (D-WI) in his office in Washington, DC, October 20, 2005. The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee’s top Republican and Democrat told U.S. Supreme nominee Miers on Wednesday to elaborate on what they criticized as inadequate answers to their questionnaire. At a news conference, Chairman Arlen Specter (R-PA), described the written responses by President George W. Bush’s nominee as ‘insufficient,’ and Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VA), said some had complained the answers were even ‘insulting.’

Flap over at Patterico posted the following in the comments section of Angry Clam’s post, Speculation:

So, Patrick et. al. tell me what are the qualifications then for a supreme court justice?

I know the qualifications of a good dentist and writing is not one of them.

And you say her writing sucks. Is that a primary qualification or an nomination spoiler? Flap doesn’t read this in the Constitution anywhere.

How about character, integrity, veracity, life experience, business experience, drive etc.. Are these desirable qualifications?

Do you feel that graduating from a tier 2 or tier 3 law school like ALL of you commenting did is an automatic disqualifier? BTW Flap graduated from a premiere tier 1 dental school (USC)and have taught there and does that buy me anymore qualification for appointment to legislative or executive office?

Just some thoughts……

AC posted his reply, My Criteria.

More on AC’s reply later……..

Now, Flap wants to hear from the rest of you.

What are your criteria to be nominated as a supreme court justice?

Comments and/or Trackbacks – Please NO SPAM!

Update #1

Patterico’s Criteria:

1. The ability to write well

2. Analytical ability

3. The ability to read and process information.

Angry Clam’s

1) Some indication of academic excellence- this can be fulfilled by (a) attending a very good school and being on Law Review or Order of the Coif (a top 10% society), (b) holding an appellate clerkship, (c) publishing a number of pieces of quality legal scholarship, or (d) having a successful appellate practice (appellate law is much more academic than the practical and tactical trial practices).

2) Demonstrated and extensive ability with a range of litigation on federal issues, preferably including constitutional law, and preferably at the appellate or Supreme Court level. This can be done through private appellate practice or several years’ of service on the federal bench.

3) Some indication of a consistent philosophy of judging. Note that this need not be as technical or developed as Scalia’s originalism or Breyer’s representation-reinforcement- it may be as basic as Roberts’ Bickelian judicial modesty. I just want something that demonstrates that the nominee has considered how he understands his role as a judge in our system, as well as his method of approaching cases before him.

Notice how there’s no “we need an evangelical” or any other religion, no “we need a woman,” no “she should be from outside the same three schools that most judges come from,” “she needs a good heart,” or any other of the “representational” issues that the White House seems to think are important in an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States.

Hummmmmmm Flap wonders what the other anti-Miers pundits qualifications are?

What are the standards?

HINT: The Constitution is silent on the matter but gives the President the “CALL”.

One thought on “Harriet Miers Watch: Criteria to Be Nominated to the United States Supreme Court

  1. You’re right that the Constitution is silent on the matter- it doesn’t even require the Justices to be an attorney.

    However, the Constitution also doesn’t say anything about presidential qualifications other than (1) natural born citizen and (2) over 35.

    Would you agree that a severely mentally retarded person was, therefore, “qualified” to be president? How about someone with a severe and debilitating mental illness?

    I would argue that such people aren’t qualified, despite no clear constitutional statement about it- they’re simply incapable of doing the tasks required by the office, much, as Patterico and I contend, Miers is incapable of doing the tasks required of a Justice.

Comments are closed.