Friday, April 30, 2010
Posted by Jonathan Siegel on April 30, 2010 at 10:28 AM | Permalink
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In the interests of diversity, not to say good judgment and experience, we don't have to look so far as to propose a non-lawyer. We could improve the court immensely by appointing one of those many lawyers, like patent lawyers, who have a clue about math, science, engineering and economics, which none of the current Justices, Breyer excepted, has. Of course no POTUS since Hoover and Carter has had any either, and the lawyered-up COTUS has only about 8 of 535 members who have a clue.
Posted by: Jimbino | Apr 30, 2010 11:46:00 AM
I agree with you both. There is so much diversity among lawyers, that choosing a non lawyer seems simply unnecessary. I definitely think that presidents should appoint candidates who increase the court's diversity of gender, race, and profession. But so much of the job involves a deep understanding of legal precedent, and a non-lawyer could have a difficult time catching up. Also, a non-lawyer would never be considered for an appellate judge, correct? So why impose a different standard for the SCOTUS?
Posted by: GJELblogger | Apr 30, 2010 6:28:20 PM
I'm going to respond to the non-judge part, if that's alright. It's true that a non-judge nominee would bring a different perspective to the Court. But that itself does not necessarily make such an appointment a good idea. It has to bring a useful perspective, not just a different one.
So, two questions: what makes those differing perspectives specifically useful, and why can't that utility be attained by just appointing judges with more diverse pre-judgship backgrounds?
Posted by: Andrew MacKie-Mason | May 1, 2010 12:52:16 AM