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Supreme Court appointees

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Someone asked me recently what qualities I believe a Supreme Court appointee should have.

I'm the author of a book on related issues, considered historically. But I had never thought to create such a list.

Putting aside anarchistic arguments, thinking within the box of the existing constitutional system, I offer the following. [I'll use the generic pronoun 'he' below for convenience only.]

  • He should be independent-spirited, willing to tell anyone (including the other 8, including the consensus of legal opinion, including the President who appointed him) to go to hell rather than putting himself in the wrong in his own eyes.
  • He should be learned in the HISTORY of the law. He should commune in his own mind not with the other eight folks in the conference room with him, but with Jean Bodin, Edward Coke, John Marshall, and Hugo Black.
  • Finally, he should have some experience of the business world. Perhaps just by having run a law office with his own name on the door at some time in his life, worrying about everything from hiring a qualified secretary to paying the light bill, and of course serving the interests of the customers, uh, clients.


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