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Thursday, October 06, 2005

Ann Coulter on Law School Rankings

Ann Coulter  writes:

Harriet Miers went to Southern Methodist University Law School, which is not ranked at all by the serious law school reports and ranked No. 52 by US News and World Report. Her greatest legal accomplishment is being the first woman commissioner of the Texas Lottery.

I know conservatives have been trained to hate people who went to elite universities, and generally that's a good rule of thumb. But not when it comes to the Supreme Court.

First, Bush has no right to say "Trust me." He was elected to represent the American people, not to be dictator for eight years. Among the coalitions that elected Bush are people who have been laboring in the trenches for a quarter-century to change the legal order in America. While Bush was still boozing it up in the early '80s, Ed Meese, Antonin Scalia, Robert Bork and all the founders of the Federalist Society began creating a farm team of massive legal talent on the right.

. . .

Second, even if you take seriously William F. Buckley's line about preferring to be governed by the first 200 names in the Boston telephone book than by the Harvard faculty, the Supreme Court is not supposed to govern us. Being a Supreme Court justice ought to be a mind-numbingly tedious job suitable only for super-nerds trained in legal reasoning like John Roberts. Being on the Supreme Court isn't like winning a "Best Employee of the Month" award. It's a real job.

.  . .

[A]ll the intellectual firepower in the law is coming from conservatives right now – and thanks for noticing! Liberals got stuck trying to explain Roe vs. Wade and are still at work 30 years later trying to come up with a good argument.

Which "serious law school reports" don't rank SMU?  Could it be that Ann Coulter reads Brian Leiter's Law School Reports?  Maybe that's why she apparently has turned on the President. 

But even so, I think her description of the proper role of the Supreme Court is an insta-classic.


Posted by Dave Hoffman on October 6, 2005 at 04:01 PM in Life of Law Schools | Permalink


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Does anyone remember, or has anyone researched, how SMU Law was ranked/perceived a few decades ago, when Miers would have been in law school? Being an East-Coast elitist, it wasn't on my radar sreen back then.

Posted by: David Giacalone | Oct 6, 2005 5:30:10 PM

I hate to say this, because I dislike Ann Coulter intensely, but I've agreed with practically everything she's written about the two nominations to the supreme court, and this is no exception.

Posted by: Simon | Oct 6, 2005 6:10:53 PM

I hate to say this, because I usually find a great deal to admire in people who hate Ann Coulter intensely, but this is not a step forward for her.

Ann writes cleverly, articulately, and incorrectly about a wide range of things. This is one of them.

Ann is right that Bush does not earn respect or trust very well, except for those within his inner circle.

Ann is right that the Supreme Court is a real job, unlike hers.

Ann is wrong on just about anything else one might care to name, until one reaches things that _everyone_ agrees on. Ann's not just harshly, bitingly, aggressively wrong. She's also wrongheadedly wrong, so wrong she doesn't know why she's wrong.

Miers would make a better Supreme Court Justice than Ann would - but so would Goebbels or Goering, in my view, or Bill Bennett or Rush Limbaugh. She is _not_ right.

Hating people who went to good law schools is what it is: mindless, ignorant stupidity. Sneering at people who didn't, is what it is: mindless, brainless, inexcusable elitist stupidity.

Not understanding what it is the President has done by nominating this lawyer, this counselor: not uncommon. Failing to understand the implications for the Supreme Court: priceless.

Posted by: Eh Nonymous | Oct 7, 2005 11:27:03 AM

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