No Experience Needed

With the political firestorm raging over President Bush’s nomination of Harriet Miers, important facts regarding Supreme Court justices must be reviewed. Big Dog has provided some interesting information in his recent post regarding Mier’s qualifications, religion and the nomination. Last week, The Christian Science Monitor also published a fine piece of journalistic work. The article explained that, since its inception, nearly half of the Supreme Court justices had never been judges prior to sitting on SCOTUS.

John Marshall is widely revered as “the great Chief Justice,” but before joining the Supreme Court in 1801 he had never served a day in judicial robes and lost the only case he argued at the high court.

Earl Warren had worked for 18 years as a prosecutor and was three times elected governor of California. But he had no prior judicial experience. Nor did William Rehnquist, Felix Frankfurter, and Louis Brandeis.

Whether one agrees with the Miers appointment or not, one cannot make an argument against her based on her lack of judicial experience. SCOTUS has a long and rich history of successful and preeminent justices that never took the bench prior to their appointment.

Who is qualified to sit on the Supreme Court is a determination made on a nominee by nominee basis by at least 51 US senators. There are no set rules for qualification. Although every past justice has been a lawyer, 41 of the 109 justices had no prior judicial experience.

You can read the rest of the article by Warren Richie here.



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