Guess it Depends on Who Nominates the Blank Slate

October 14, 2005.

The White House [needs to] recognize that, in the absence of any judicial record on her part, in the absence of any significant work that she appears to have done related to Constitutional issues, that she is going to need to be more forthcoming and the White House is going to need to be more forthcoming…[She] is completely a blank slate. ~ Senator Barack Obama on President Bush’s nomination of Harriet Miers to the U.S. Supreme Court

I’ll grant that Elena Kagan has more “significant work…related to Constitutional issues” than Miers–whose nomination I also opposed because she simply lacked experience–but both are blank slates when it comes to *how* they would actually rule from the bench because, well, neither of them were ever judges. Perhaps there are cases when that’s OK (former Chief Justice William Rehnquist was never a judge, for instance), but I don’t think that it will really fly in a day and age when we all need the right credentials before we do anything!

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
14 years ago

Being called a “blank slate” by Obama is like being called ugly by a frog.
Prior service as a judge is highly overrated as a basis for evaluating a candidate for the U.S. Supreme Court.
Right now, every single one of the Justices is a former U.S. Court of Appeals judge.
What the Court really needs is a Justice or Justices with real world experience and some background in either the legislative or executive branches.
Justices Rehnquist and Powell — the last two “non judges” appointed to the Court were both excellent Justices.
I’m not endorsing General Kagan . . . but I think the weakest possible criticism of her would be her lack of judicial service.

14 years ago

Right you are about credentials. You better have your papers in order if you visit Arizona.

Scott Bill Hirst
Scott Bill Hirst
14 years ago

I think we need better diversity on the Supreme Court as far as credentials are perhaps. No member of the current court has held an executive position such as Mayor or Governor, or as a Congressman or State Legislator or City or Town Council member,. They are not acquainted with the IMPLEMENTATION of decisions that other officials have to do.
Also a number of COMPETENT people have NOT gone to Harvard or Yale and are quite capable to handle a seat on this court,. Also they don’t only exist on the Eastern Seaboard.
There are prejudices which are not racial, religious, political, gender, or sexual orientation driven but can result from where you went to school and perhaps where you come from such as the U.S. Court of Appeals?
In closing which is not really mentioned is the historic part of the appointment of Elena Kagan, if confirmed she would be one of three Jews on the Court, the highest Jewish membership in Court history, and the highest amount of woman in Court history. With six Roman Catholics, three Jews, this will be the first time in American history not a single Justice will be a Protestant, since the federal government was set up.

Show your support for Anchor Rising with a 25-cent-per-day subscription.