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View Diary: Picking their judge (317 comments)

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  •  From one BU-Law grad to another (4.00)
    Hey Kos, I got my law degree from Boston University back in 1986, and I'm not as impressed with Miers' rise in the law firm world.  During the 1980s, quite a few women were making their way in the corporate law firm world (and making all sorts of compromises on the way up the ladder, as you might expect). Sure, we might expect a male-dominated profession to resist, and perhaps moreso in Texas. But even so, the real gains and sacrifices were made by an earlier generation of women. Compare with Sandra Day O'Conner, who she's replacing on the Supreme Court. Tops in her class at Stanford, and the first job she's offered was as a legal secretary.  

    I'm not saying Miers isn't a fine lawyer; she probably is. But she has no judicial experience at any level.  Being a litigator is quite different from being the decision maker.  Think of the federal district courts and courts of appeal as the training ground.  I'm not sure I would modify my opinion even if she was a legal scholar, like Laurence Tribe for example. Again, there's something about being in the hot seat that matters.  

    Point is, there are probably a thousand lawyers out there with similar credentials and achievements. But we are talking about plucking someone out of that top 1000, and putting them in the top 9.  The Supreme Court should be reserved for the 9 finest legal minds in the country.  Has she earned the right to join that elite group?

    In loving memory: Sophie, June 1, 1993-January 17, 2005. My huckleberry friend.

    by Paul in Berkeley on Mon Oct 03, 2005 at 05:59:22 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  Hmm ... (none)
      can you name even one woman in charge of a major Bay Area law firm?  I can't.
      •  I can't (none)
        But I haven't practiced law in 12 years.

        In loving memory: Sophie, June 1, 1993-January 17, 2005. My huckleberry friend.

        by Paul in Berkeley on Mon Oct 03, 2005 at 06:31:12 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Kicked upstairs (none)
        Aren't lawyers often kicked upstairs to run the firm when they can't litigate well? It's true in other fields.
      •  becoming a managing partner (none)
        is more about politics than lawyering.  sure it requires respect from the co-lawyers but mainly it requires an ability to make the trains run on time.  that is more managerial skill than lawyering.  that experience, and acting as white house counsel really provide no basis for thinking she would make a great supreme court judge.

        i have tremendous respect for roberts and many other conservatives with towering records of achievement in areas with relevance to the supreme court.  in my view, miers would be a reasonable pick for a district court judgeship (which is still a huge honor) given her experience in private practice.  while i agree with the sentiment that a nonjudge would bring a fresh perspective, that perspective would be equally available from one of the many lawyers who specialize in supreme court litigation.  

    •  You nail it (none)
      There is no shame in being deemed not qualified enough to sit on the USSC; we should treat the occasional open position with the highest regard, and out a pool of thousands of brilliant minds out there, not being "good enough" isn't exactly a knock against your legal career.  Miers may be a fine lawyer, a trailblazer and a strong legal mind; but there are greater minds out there, more impressive careers out there, and once you throw in judicial experience, she should definitely drop out of that absolute top level.

      Let's treat this opening with the respect it deserves and reserve the search to those who have judicial experience or are otherwise outrageously qualified.  This managing partner of a regional firm does not qualify in either group.

      "I don't know how to put this ... but I'm kind of a big deal."

      by Slim Tyranny on Mon Oct 03, 2005 at 06:41:15 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Or... (none)
        she needs to demonstrate her qualifications for this rarified circle, through the confirmation process. And the Democrats need to hold her to that affirmative task, because I sure don't want to hear Dueling Banjos in the background.

        I do not want to be George W. Bush's Ned Beatty.

        In loving memory: Sophie, June 1, 1993-January 17, 2005. My huckleberry friend.

        by Paul in Berkeley on Mon Oct 03, 2005 at 07:06:54 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I'm pretty sure (none)
          we're already at the "Jon Voight with nightmares of the lake" stage --- Ned squealed like a pig way back around the August 6, 2001 PDB.

          "I don't know how to put this ... but I'm kind of a big deal."

          by Slim Tyranny on Mon Oct 03, 2005 at 07:25:08 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

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