View Poll Results: Should Supreme Court Justices have had experience as judges?

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  • Absolutely!

    39 48.75%
  • Doesn't matter if they were judges or not.

    36 45.00%
  • Not sure

    5 6.25%
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Thread: Should Supreme Court justices have had experience being a judge at some point?

  1. #121
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    Re: Should Supreme Court justices have had experience being a judge at some point?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    It's certainly legitimate to try to infer how she might rule on controversial issues, but that's a separate issue from experience. One does not necessarily need to have bench experience to get an idea of one's general legal philosophy. Similarly, bench experience is no guarantee that people know anything about someone's legal philosophy. Think David Souter.
    having argued a bunch of case before two different circuits (right below the supremes) I don't think judicial experience is all that necessary. I also think a president has the right to appoint whom he chooses as long as they meet basic qualfications. And Kagan does. However, she is no where near a top choice IMHO. She was not an experienced appellate litigator (as was Roberts or THurgood Marshall). She was not a distinguished judge (Alito, etc). She was not a highly respected constitutional scholar whose works are regularly cited by judges and other scholars alike (such as Akhil Reed Amar, Pamela Karlan, Steven Calabresi, William Van Alstyne). She was a good Dean at harvard who hired diverse faculty and improved student morale. However, as a scholar she has not been (once again) a Pam Karlan, an Akhil Reed Amar or another similar superstar in academia.



  2. #122
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    Re: Should Supreme Court justices have had experience being a judge at some point?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ockham View Post
    Then you're comment about Scalia's opinion being more qualified? Still irrelevant.
    Oh, but it is. You didn't say anything more brilliant than he did about the matter. So, when I am weighing who is more convincing, I'd have to say him. Hands down. Because of who he is. And, who you're not.

    Presidential appointments for the SCOTUS should have 1 to 2+ years on the bench prior to their appointment.
    Again? Scalia says the exact opposite. He's a brilliant legal mind, and a Supreme Court Justice for decades. If you're not going to make a more substantive argument, I'm going to have to go on credibility of the people making the declarations. You lose.

    My original point stands. You've made no resonable or substantiated argument to refute it. Hence the lack to needing an additional or new one.
    You've made no reasonable or substantiated argument to support your position to begin with. Just stated your opinion, really.

    Given the last 40 years of that illustrious history and lacking unqualified appointees... but you don't seem to want to discuss that part.
    I addressed this elsewhere.

    Why don't you write him a nice letter and ask him? As for me, I prefer law and judges to use facts, not emotions.
    Are you infering that Scalia is stating by implication that he wants SCOTUS Justices to employ emotion in their evaluation of the application of the Constitution? Seriously? Scalia, the intellectual leader of the Conservative wing of the SCOTUS wants people with more diverse backgrounds on the SCOTUS because ... he wants more 'heart' in their decision making?

    Is it possible that this conservative justice is just indicating that he thinks there needs to be experience from diverse backgrounds? Maybe because that brings wisdom to a conclave? I know, I know, I should go ask him. Aren't YOU interested? YOU are a conservative. HE is the leader of the conservative judicial movement. Aren't you curious, a little bit, about the basis of his opinion on this matter? A little?
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  3. #123
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    Re: Should Supreme Court justices have had experience being a judge at some point?

    Quote Originally Posted by TurtleDude View Post
    having argued a bunch of case before two different circuits (right below the supremes) I don't think judicial experience is all that necessary. I also think a president has the right to appoint whom he chooses as long as they meet basic qualfications. And Kagan does. However, she is no where near a top choice IMHO. She was not an experienced appellate litigator (as was Roberts or THurgood Marshall). She was not a distinguished judge (Alito, etc). She was not a highly respected constitutional scholar whose works are regularly cited by judges and other scholars alike (such as Akhil Reed Amar, Pamela Karlan, Steven Calabresi, William Van Alstyne). She was a good Dean at harvard who hired diverse faculty and improved student morale. However, as a scholar she has not been (once again) a Pam Karlan, an Akhil Reed Amar or another similar superstar in academia.
    If all this is true, I do think you make some valid points, here, TurtleDude. What you're doing is painting a picture of someone who is really more of an accomplished manager, rather than an accomplished scholar or practician.

    Again, if true, I will begin to speculate that this is Obama engaging in a rather dangerous strategy: Wanting so much to appoint younger people that he is risking the credibility of the SCOTUS. Something I cannot support.
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  4. #124
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    Re: Should Supreme Court justices have had experience being a judge at some point?

    I was just reminded of this Rehnquist dissent, laying out what could be considered an argument for a more diverse judiciary. The case was about the scope of official immunity, which is a judicially created doctrine. As it stands, the doctrine says that prosecutors and judges enjoy absolute immunity for actions taken within the scope of their employment, while executive officials and legislators only enjoy qualified immunity. Justice Rehnquist argued that this distinction was unsupportable:

    If one were to hazard an informed guess as to why such a distinction in treatment between judges and prosecutors, on the one hand, and other public officials, on the other, obtains, mine would be that those who decide the common law know through personal experience the sort of pressures that might exist for such decisionmakers in the absence of absolute immunity, but may not know, or may have forgotten, that similar pressures exist in the case of nonjudicial public officials to whom difficult decisions are committed. But the cynical among us might not unreasonably feel that this is simply another unfortunate example of judges treating those who are not part of the judicial machinery as "lesser breeds without the law."
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  5. #125
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    Re: Should Supreme Court justices have had experience being a judge at some point?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dezaad View Post
    Again, if true, I will begin to speculate that this is Obama engaging in a rather dangerous strategy: Wanting so much to appoint younger people that he is risking the credibility of the SCOTUS. Something I cannot support.
    This is one of the reasons I think there should be a term limit for the Supreme Court. Maybe 15 years with a maximum of one term. That would stop this race to the bottom for younger and younger justices. Additionally, I think increasing the turnover might help keep the Court's views more up-to-date.
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  6. #126
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    Re: Should Supreme Court justices have had experience being a judge at some point?

    Experienced yes. Must also have their field of expertise in Constitutional Law.

  7. #127
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    Re: Should Supreme Court justices have had experience being a judge at some point?

    Quote Originally Posted by b.larset View Post
    Experienced yes. Must also have their field of expertise in Constitutional Law.
    Why? A huge portion of the court's docket has absolutely nothing to do with constitutional law.
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    Re: Should Supreme Court justices have had experience being a judge at some point?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mellie View Post
    As you know, Obama has nominated Elena Kagan for Supreme Court Justice. Here's a portion of the article from politico...

    As solicitor general, Kagan serves as the nationís top lawyer arguing cases before the high court. Yet Kagan is highly unusual in one way Ė she has never been a judge. Itís the first time in nearly four decades that someone would join the court, if confirmed, without any prior judicial experience. The last to do so was William Rehnquist, who went on to become chief justice.


    Read more: President Obama to Senate: Act fast - Josh Gerstein and Carol E. Lee - POLITICO.com

    Do you think Supreme Court Justices should have experience being a judge before being appointed as a Supreme Judge for life?
    Damn, you guys are right on cue. I just saw Colbert tonight and this thread was up just 40 minutes later.

  9. #129
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    Re: Should Supreme Court justices have had experience being a judge at some point?

    Quote Originally Posted by megaprogman View Post
    I think as long as they were in a job where they demonstrate that they understand the law and its application, they are qualified. If someone is the government's top representative at the SC, that's good enough I think.

    Frankly, I am more disturbed by the fact that she looks like a man in drag.
    Looks like James Gandolfini with makeup.

  10. #130
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    Re: Should Supreme Court justices have had experience being a judge at some point?

    Kagan's an experienced softball player

    See what is happening to the wall street journal since Murdoch took over?

    Softball question - Ben Smith - POLITICO.com

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