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. #31
    Sage

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Goobieman View Post
    You know that those that can't do, teach.
    I can see the employment advertisement now.

    "Wanted 2nd rate ambulance chaser for exciting academic career.

    Please send resume to Harvard Law School"

  2. #32
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    Re: Should Supreme Court justices have had experience being a judge at some point?

    Chief Justices

    John Jay..............................Governor
    John Rutledge......................Governor
    Oliver Ellsworth....................Senator
    John Marshall.......................Secretary of State
    Roger Taney.........................Secretary of the Treasury, U.S. Attorney General
    Salmon Chase......................Secretary of the Treasury, Governor
    Morrison Waite.....................Lawyer
    Melville Fuller.......................Representative
    Edward White.......................Lawyer
    William Howard Taft..............U.S. President
    Charles Hughes....................Secretary of State
    Harlan Stone........................Attorney General
    Fred Vinson..........................Secretary of the Treasury
    Earl Warren..........................Governor


    Associate Justices

    William Cushing...................Member, Continental Congress
    James Wilson......................Member, Continental Congress
    William Paterson..................Governor
    Samuel Chase.....................Member, Maryland General Assembly; Continental Congress
    Bushrod Washington............Lawyer
    William Johnson..................Representative, S.C. House
    Henry B. Livingston.............Military
    Gabriel Duvall.....................Representative
    Joseph Story.......................Representative
    Smith Thompson.................Secretary of the Navy
    John McLean.......................Unknown
    Henry Baldwin....................Representative
    James M. Wayne.................Mayor, Representative
    Philip P. Barbour..................Representative
    John McKinley.....................Senator, Representative
    Levi Woodbury....................Governor, Secretary of the Treasury, Secretary of the Navy
    Benjamin Curtis..................Lawyer
    John Campbell....................Lawyer
    Nathan Clifford....................Attorney General
    Noah Swayne......................Member, Ohio Legislature, U.S. Attorney
    Samuel Miller......................Lawyer
    David Davis........................Senator
    Joseph Bradley....................Lawyer
    John M. Harlan (I)...............Kentucky Attorney General
    Stanley Matthews................U.S. Attorney, Military
    Horace Gray........................Lawyer
    Lucius Lamar.......................Member, Georgia House, Secretary of the Interior
    George Shiras, Jr.................Lawyer
    Howell Jackson....................Member, Tennessee House
    Edward D. White..................Lawyer
    William Henry Moody............Attorney General
    Mahlon Pitney.....................Congress (office unspecified)
    James McReynolds...............Attorney General
    Louis Brandeis.....................Lawyer
    George Sutherland...............Congress (office unspecified)
    Pierce Butler.......................Lawyer
    Edward Sanford...................Attorney General
    Owen Roberts......................Assistant District Attorney
    Hugo L. Black......................Senator
    Stanley Forman Reed...........Solicitor General
    Felix Frankfurter..................Lawyer
    William O. Douglas...............Law Professor, Chairman of SEC
    Frank Murphy......................Mayor, Governor, Attorney General
    James Francis Byrnes...........Secretary of State
    Robert H. Jackson................Attorney General
    Harold Hitz Burton................Senator
    Tom Clark...........................Attorney General
    John M. Harlan (II)..............Lawyer
    Arthur J. Goldberg...............Secretary of Labor
    Abe Fortas..........................President and Chairman of the SEC
    Thurgood Marshall...............Lawyer
    Lewis F. Powell....................Lawyer

    Let's see, two of the most influential legal minds of the 20th century were not judges before being appointed to the court.

    Hmmmm.... I guess we can flush that GOP talking point down the toilet.

  3. #33
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    Re: Should Supreme Court justices have had experience being a judge at some point?

    There is nothing in the constitution that forbids even nominating a ham sandwich for a supreme court justice.

  4. #34
    Sage

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

    Quote Originally Posted by LiberalAvenger View Post
    There is nothing in the constitution that forbids even nominating a ham sandwich for a supreme court justice.
    14th Amendment, one must be born in the US to have Constitutional rights.

    Ham sandwiches are not born but rather are made.

  5. #35
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    Re: Should Supreme Court justices have had experience being a judge at some point?

    Two important elements to "experience" when someone is being considered for a job. First one is the value it would/will provide the candidate if they are selected.

    But the second element is that it gives the employer something to base a decision on as to whether the candidate is qualified. If the person being reviewed has no practical experience in the job catagory they being considered for, makes it a little dicey to conclude they are the "best choice".

    As far as i know Kagan has zero experience as a Judge, Zero experience as a Prosecutor. Zero experience as a Trial Attorney.

    She does have one year's experience as Solicitor General. Which is nice. But that really isn't enough.


    .

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

    Quote Originally Posted by winston53660 View Post
    14th Amendment, one must be born in the US to have Constitutional rights.

    Ham sandwiches are not born but rather are made.
    Then should Arnold Schwarzenegger be thrown out of office?

  7. #37
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    Re: Should Supreme Court justices have had experience being a judge at some point?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cole View Post

    As far as i know Kagan has zero experience as a Judge, Zero experience as a Prosecutor. Zero experience as a Trial Attorney.
    I far as I know... All GOP talking points should be preceded by 'as far as I know...'

  8. #38
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    Re: Should Supreme Court justices have had experience being a judge at some point?

    Quote Originally Posted by LiberalAvenger View Post
    Then should Arnold Schwarzenegger be thrown out of office?
    He is a naturalized citizen as per the 14th. BTW he can not run for Prez but as far as I know he could be SCOZTUS Justice.

  9. #39
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    Re: Should Supreme Court justices have had experience being a judge at some point?

    We've seen people appointed judges to smaller courts who have no courtroom experience at all. I've argued in front of a few who have no idea what the rules of evidence are. And while they're on the bench, they don't ever seem to learn, because they really don't have to.

    So experience on the bench, while desirable, is not a guarantee that a person will be a good Supreme Court judge.

    The Supreme Court, after all, deals with more detailed stuff. It helps to have someone who has actually argued before the Supreme Court (like Kagan), clerked in the Supreme Court (like Kagan) and who has written briefs and knows the Constitution because it was her job to do so.

    So while I agree that judicial experience is nice, it certainly isn't required. 33% of all Supreme Court judges were never on another court before, so this is nothing unusual.

  10. #40
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    Re: Should Supreme Court justices have had experience being a judge at some point?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jucon View Post
    Bull
    Most professors I've had were very knowledgeable in their field and could have been successful even if not a professor. There's always a need for good teachers and some feel the need to share their knowledge.
    It was a joke, dude. My wife is professor of mathematics at OSU - I am well aware of the capabilities of (most of) those that teach.

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