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estherchaya
estherchaya
huh?
Harriet Miers??

I'm not complaining. How could I? She has no judicial record. I'm just, um, surprised.

I am too lazy to trust my google fu right now. Can anyone tell me if it's common to nominate individuals with no judicial record? Or is it more common to nominate those who have held judicial seats before? If it's more common to have held judicial seats in the past... at what level? Federal Court? State Supreme Court? Local Circuit Court? I'm just curious. But most of what I want to know is whether it is common (excluding the first couple of decades our country existed) to appoint someone to the Supremes without a judicial record.

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Current Mood: surprised surprised

27 comments or Leave a comment
Comments
eyelid From: eyelid Date: October 3rd, 2005 02:34 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm not complaining. How could I? She has no judicial record.

You could complain because she has no judicial record.
estherchaya From: estherchaya Date: October 3rd, 2005 02:41 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh yeah. There is that. ;)
(Deleted comment)
estherchaya From: estherchaya Date: October 3rd, 2005 02:48 pm (UTC) (Link)
And obviously the first nine justices had no experience with Constitutional law. :)

There's a reason I specifically excluded the first couple of decades our country existed.
(Deleted comment)
estherchaya From: estherchaya Date: October 3rd, 2005 02:49 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh wait, that's right. Rehnquist had no previous judicial experience. And yet, he was an asset to the court. Wait, no, that's not right. I just misspelled "ass" there didn't I?

Ahem.
(Deleted comment)
magid From: magid Date: October 3rd, 2005 03:00 pm (UTC) (Link)
What does it matter, her judicial background (or lack thereof), as long as she's in good with the prez?
[/sarcasm]
lionsaoi From: lionsaoi Date: October 3rd, 2005 03:04 pm (UTC) (Link)
Rehnquist didn't have a judicial career/record when he was nominated, but I'd argue that there's a difference between white house counsel and attorney general.

The biggest problem, in my opinion, is that she doesn't have a judicial record. Will she be a good judge? Will her rulings be valid? What is her stance on particular issues? All of this is a tabula rasa.

Her stance as an unknown quantity could be a good thing, but considering her "close confidant" status with the Shrub, I doubt it. Sure, she may not "legislate" from the bench, but I sure as hell bet she'll proslytize and beat a Bible.
From: bodnej Date: October 3rd, 2005 06:02 pm (UTC) (Link)
Actually, social conservatives are rather unhappy about the selection and Senate minority leader Harry Reid suggested her, and she's contributed to Gore, Bentsen, and the DNC:

http://www.beggingtodiffer.com/archives/2005_10.html#003065
http://www.rightwingnews.com/archives/week_2005_10_02.PHP#004526

It's good to know nothing about somoene before you smear them, isn't it? Way to show how much smarter you are than those evil Republicans!

Do I know if she's any good? Nope. That's why they hold those confirmation hearings.
estherchaya From: estherchaya Date: October 3rd, 2005 06:05 pm (UTC) (Link)
Like I said, I'm not complaining... I'm just not sure what to think. It's not the choice I would have predicted.

I don't know that confirmation hearings really prove whether a nominee is any good... but they do serve some purpose. Truth is with SCJs, only the test of time gives you a real idea.
From: bodnej Date: October 3rd, 2005 06:20 pm (UTC) (Link)
"Good" is often the wrong metric, because most people define good as "what I belive, the law be damned."

It wasn't what you wrote that bothered me. It was the comments from ionsaoi. Re-reading them, the worst is "Will her rulings be valid?". Of course they'll be valid; she'd be a US Supreme Court Justice. Whether you agree with them is irrelevant, unless you think people can just ignore any court ruling they don't like.
estherchaya From: estherchaya Date: October 3rd, 2005 06:34 pm (UTC) (Link)
Well, no doubt the rulings will be valid. You are correct that I don't have to agree with her rulings for them to be valid. I have no idea what kind of rulings she'll make, either.

And you're right about "good." The few SCJs I've had serious issues with weren't based on WHAT their rulings were, but how they came to them. Or at least, how it appeared that they came to them.
lionsaoi From: lionsaoi Date: October 3rd, 2005 07:32 pm (UTC) (Link)
Wow!

"smearing?" Sure, I posted a personal opinion based on one fact (a fact which I identified in the comment, "based on her personal confidant status"). Did I say I was an expert? Nope. Am I a member of the media? Nope. Do I, or my comment on this blog, have any bearing on the confirmation process? Nope.

And, never once did I say anything about the "evil" Republicans. So, to paraphrase... "It's good to know nothing about someone before me before you smear me, isn't it?" You nothing about my politics or personal beliefs.

So... back off.
From: bodnej Date: October 3rd, 2005 07:38 pm (UTC) (Link)
So it's only a smear if someone cares about what you say?

You said "considering her "close confidant" status with the Shrub, I doubt it. Sure, she may not "legislate" from the bench, but I sure as hell bet she'll proslytize and beat a Bible."

You can pretend now that what you said was value-neutral, but I'm not stupid. You told me all sorts of things about your beliefs in the span of two sentences. None of it is flattering.
lionsaoi From: lionsaoi Date: October 3rd, 2005 07:50 pm (UTC) (Link)
What I said isn't value-neutral. But, what I wrote certainly isn't an indictment of Republicans or Republicanism, at all. (Nil ar chor ar bith!) And, yes, I do think "smearing" is a bit harsh, since smearing means "to stain or attempt to destroy the reputation of; vilify"; as I have neither the forum nor the clout to actually destroy her reputation, I would disagree with the word. (But, I suppose I'm arguing semantics now.)

I've actually moved past the point of wanting to pick a fight or even argue my point, as I doubt we'll disagree. But, I'm curious to know how you perceive me. (An intellectual exercise.) Will you indulge me? I ask only that you not be too insulting.
lionsaoi From: lionsaoi Date: October 3rd, 2005 07:54 pm (UTC) (Link)
oops... "disagree" should be "agree", but you already knew that.
lionsaoi From: lionsaoi Date: October 3rd, 2005 07:35 pm (UTC) (Link)

Addendum

Just read my typo... feel free to attack me based on a typing glitch, too. Obviously I must be an ignorant yokel.
From: bodnej Date: October 3rd, 2005 07:40 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Addendum

What typo?
estherchaya From: estherchaya Date: October 3rd, 2005 07:41 pm (UTC) (Link)
Will she be a good judge?

Who knows? SCJs are notoriously unpredictable. A lifetime appointment is a LONG time.

Will her rulings be valid?

Of course they will be. I don't know if I'll like them, but they'll be valid.

I'm kind of interested to see how this plays out in our [future] history as a country. But a little worried, too.
lionsaoi From: lionsaoi Date: October 3rd, 2005 07:53 pm (UTC) (Link)
Heh. I guess her rulings will be, by nature, valid. Although I would greatly like the world where rulings had to mesh with my personal beliefs to be valid! That would be wonderful. :0p
estherchaya From: estherchaya Date: October 3rd, 2005 07:58 pm (UTC) (Link)
that would be tragic.
lionsaoi From: lionsaoi Date: October 3rd, 2005 08:02 pm (UTC) (Link)
Sheesh... everyone is very serious on this thread.

JOKE! I kid, I kid.
From: bodnej Date: October 3rd, 2005 05:56 pm (UTC) (Link)
Earl Warren had no judicial experience before he was nominated to be Chief Justice. Nominated by a Republican, too. Liberals seem to be fond of him, though.

William Howard Taft didn't have judicial experience before he was nominated to be Chief Justice. He was just president of the US first.

That's off the top of my head. I'm certain there are plenty more.

So, yes, it used to be, if not unusual, then not uncommon. The reason why judges (especially federal judges) are popular choices these days is that they have already been vetted by the lunatics of both parties during previous confirmation battles, so there are no new skeletons in the closet to be found. Atlantic Monthly ran a story on just this topic a few months ago. I will send a link (they expire after 3 days) to anyone who actually cares to learn more about this subject.
estherchaya From: estherchaya Date: October 3rd, 2005 06:02 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thank you. I would like to learn more about the subject.

I have no problem with the choice other than I have no way of judging (no pun intended) how she'll turn out. But then again, SCJs are notorius for being unpredictable since they sit on the bench for so long.
From: bodnej Date: October 3rd, 2005 06:09 pm (UTC) (Link)
I just sent you the link to your comcast email address. The Atlantic has silly policies about their on-line content, but I'll respect them.
estherchaya From: estherchaya Date: October 3rd, 2005 06:36 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thanks. That was a very good article. I appreciate you sending it my way.
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