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MIERS' EXPERIENCE [Jonah Goldberg posting an interesting email]
NRO Corner ^

Posted on 10/07/2005 10:29:53 AM PDT by Uncledave

MIERS' EXPERIENCE [Jonah Goldberg]

I get a lot of email making this point, which I think is fair as far as it goes:

I did a quick review of the bios of the current Justices. If you leave out the departing O’Connor, the only Justice with any significant private practice experience left on the Court is Kennedy, at about 14 years. Souter and Scalia had a handful of years right out of law school; believe me when I tell you that doesn’t count. Thomas had a couple of years in-house at Monsanto between government positions. Roberts had 10 years at Hogan & Hartson, but as I understand it, it was exclusively appellate work, which only barely counts.

J. Harvie Wilkinson (my Con Law professor years ago) has no private practice experience. Michael Luttig had about 4 years.

Miers, by contrast, has over 25 years as a commercial litigator. Though I’ve seen some of the derisive comments about the intellectual rigor of that branch of the profession as compared to the supposedly more rarified field of Constitutional Law, that is nonsense. A good commercial litigator’s practice is, in fact, one of the most intellectually challenging careers in the profession. Every case, every business you represent, and every deal is different. You have to explain unfamiliar and complex commercial issues (which are found in both “large” and “small” cases) to judges and juries.

If you confine appointments to Constitutional scholars, you’re going to have nothing but academics and government lawyers, which is what you’ve basically got there now.

My point is that if Miers is a good lawyer, the fact that she hasn’t had an opportunity to deal with search and seizure issues in her career is not disqualifying. In fact, her familiarity with many of the regulatory, tax and other commercial issues faced by the Court will be much greater than her colleagues. And maybe we’ll have fewer of those ridiculous 7-part tests to deal with.

Posted at 01:22 PM

TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: harrietmiers; orwellian; rationalization
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To: cynicom

Jonah didn't write this. It is an email sent to him. Posters slamming Jonah are offbase. He is posting what his readers are saying.

21 posted on 10/07/2005 10:56:11 AM PDT by Republican Red (''Van der Sloot" is Dutch for ''Kennedy.")
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To: Dems_R_Losers

Abortion is your only requirement? What about the 2nd Amendment? What about consulting foreign law? Putting an anti-abortion activist on the court isn't going to solve much. By the way, Miers is against abortion.

22 posted on 10/07/2005 10:58:43 AM PDT by RasterMaster (Proud Member of the Water Bucket Brigade - MOOSEMUSS!)
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To: Republican Red

Johna subscribed to it. He is a chip off Moms blockhead.

23 posted on 10/07/2005 10:59:55 AM PDT by cynicom
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To: EagleUSA

I read Charles K's peice. I know conservatives want a known entity.

24 posted on 10/07/2005 11:03:20 AM PDT by Cathy
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To: Captain Kirk

Did not read that she supported racial preferences.

BTW: My husband is a Kirk - we call him Capt Kirk - have since HS.

25 posted on 10/07/2005 11:05:42 AM PDT by Cathy
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To: Uncledave
I just read that Miers was heavily involved in the process of Bush's appointing judges around the country.

By the accounts I've read, these are fine, conservative judges. If she has been so heavily in on this successful process, then she definitely knows some of the ropes and that's another great point in her favor IMO.

26 posted on 10/07/2005 11:05:47 AM PDT by Siena Dreaming
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To: Uncledave


27 posted on 10/07/2005 11:07:44 AM PDT by Guenevere (God bless our military!...and God bless the President of the United States!)
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To: blau993

The real breath of fresh air we need on the court is a non-lawyer, someone who can read and understand the English language and who isn't willing to let flowery language persuade them that black is white, that discrimination is equality, and that the First Amendment permits censorship of religious expression and regulation of political speech. Someone to bring some common sense to the Court, and an articulate advocate of the sovereign people's right to non-arbitrariness in the adjudication of law.

28 posted on 10/07/2005 11:09:50 AM PDT by thoughtomator (Corporatism is not conservatism)
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To: caseinpoint
Most attorneys are "veterans" if they have handled four or five Supreme Court appeals during their entire careers.

Actually, the vast majority of lawyers, even many of the very best lawyers, NEVER argue a case before the Supreme Court. Unless a lawyer works in the Solicitor General's Office (the main function of which is to represent the Government in cases before the Supreme Court), the Appellate Section of the Attorney General's Office in one of the larger states, or in one of the handful of appellate litigation botique practices in Washington (which is what Chief Justice Roberts did), the odds of ever winding up before the Supreme Court are miniscule. In 33 years as a litigator at a large law firm with a sophisticated trial and appellate practice, I have had exactly two cases where a party filed a petition for a writ of certiorari (a petition asking the Supreme Court to hear an appeal). Both petitions were denied. I have argued plenty of Constitutional issues over the course of my career, but I suspect I will retire having, like most lawyers, never having argued in the Supreme Court.

29 posted on 10/07/2005 11:11:03 AM PDT by blau993 (Labs for love; .357 for Security.)
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To: martin_fierro
Appellate work "only barely counts" at the USSC because ... 99.99% of the time they hear appellate cases?

Read again. He was saying that appellate work "only barely counts" as true private practice, not that it only barely counts toward USSC experience.

30 posted on 10/07/2005 11:12:08 AM PDT by Sloth (We cannot defeat foreign enemies of the Constitution if we yield to the domestic ones.)
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To: martin_fierro

that totally stunned me. how stupid can one be.

31 posted on 10/07/2005 11:12:17 AM PDT by xsmommy
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To: js1138
Never play poker with W.

Yeah well signing CFR was a brilliant poker move and having Teddy over for popcorn and allowing him to write the education bill was even smarter
32 posted on 10/07/2005 11:13:23 AM PDT by uncbob
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To: Dems_R_Losers
Let's just pick a good commercial lawyer who never ltigated about abortion!

No one with an anti-Roe background (as opposed to anti-abortion) has a chance. Specter guarantees it.

33 posted on 10/07/2005 11:14:42 AM PDT by maryz
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To: rightinthemiddle
Written opinions are often just legal drivel. The Constitution is not a complicated document. It's not that difficult for someone to follow.

And, what in the world does abortion litigation have to do with this? Either you're FOR killing babies or AGAINST killing babies.

Well said.

Well done George W. Bush for picking Harriet Miers for Supreme Court Judge.

34 posted on 10/07/2005 11:14:47 AM PDT by protest1
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To: cynicom
Johna subscribed to it. He is a chip off Moms blockhead.

Still standing by your analysis. LOL

35 posted on 10/07/2005 11:16:07 AM PDT by cynicalman
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To: martin_fierro

No, it's not an example of snobbery. His whole point is that she brings something other than appelate (read: arguing fine points often peripheral to the facts of the case) private practice experience to the bench.

Agree or disagree, but don't mischaracterize the argument presented.

36 posted on 10/07/2005 11:16:17 AM PDT by MortMan (Eschew Obfuscation)
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To: maryz
Specter guarantees it.

The same Spceter that Bush came out and campaigned for in the primary in PA . Another great poker move
37 posted on 10/07/2005 11:17:09 AM PDT by uncbob
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To: thoughtomator
The idea of a non-lawyer on the Supreme Court is IMHO a charming anachronism. The bulk of the cases the Court decides each term are those you never read about, because they are not newsworthy. These are patent and trademark cases, tax cases, ERISA cases, water rights disputes, administrative law cases, etc. What these have in common is that they are highly technical to the point where many lawyers have trouble dealing with them, and a non-lawyer would be totally lost. Cases like Roe v. Wade or Bush v. Gore, which is what people think about when they think "Supreme Court," are the exception, not the rule.
38 posted on 10/07/2005 11:17:10 AM PDT by blau993 (Labs for love; .357 for Security.)
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To: blau993

I think you misunderestimate the talents of many brilliant individuals available. I've worked on some cases that lawyers had trouble understanding but I didn't.

39 posted on 10/07/2005 11:19:01 AM PDT by thoughtomator (Corporatism is not conservatism)
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To: Uncledave

Commercial litigation in general sometimes involves the operation and interpretation of Federal statutes and regulations, but only very seldom involves Constitutional issues per se. You can't possibly generalize the way this e-mailer is doing that Miers is "qualified" simply by virtue of being a "commercial litigator." This is just another "smoke screen" the 'zoids are throwing up as "boob bait" for the "base."

40 posted on 10/07/2005 11:20:17 AM PDT by Map Kernow ("I hold it that a little rebellion now and then is a good thing" ---Thomas Jefferson)
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