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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: Cathy
Did not read that she supported racial preferences.

I believe the issue involved redistricting when she was on the Dallas city council.

41 posted on 10/07/2005 11:21:21 AM PDT by maryz
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To: Cathy
"...I am waffling on this pick..."

"Use The Force,, Cathy....come over from The Dark Side". ;^)

42 posted on 10/07/2005 11:22:42 AM PDT by DCPatriot ("It aint what you don't know that kills you. It's what you know that aint so" Theodore Sturgeon)
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To: uncbob

I was very much against that too, though I don't know what Toomey's chances would have been in the general election. Not everyone thought they were good. In any case, Specter is someone we have to deal with now.

43 posted on 10/07/2005 11:25:27 AM PDT by maryz
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To: Uncledave


44 posted on 10/07/2005 11:26:06 AM PDT by faithincowboys
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To: cynicom

It wasn't that clever the 1st time cynicom

45 posted on 10/07/2005 11:26:54 AM PDT by traderrob6
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To: DCPatriot


I am not just not very excited or very disturbed by this appointment. However, I did expect more from Bush on this one.

46 posted on 10/07/2005 11:29:44 AM PDT by Cathy
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To: Uncledave

I am a commercial litigator and from experience I can tell you that two things: (1) we very rarely address Constitutional issues, and (2) the only commercial litigators that are well versed in Constitutional issues are the ones who have made a personal effort to study the Constitution in their spare time. A majority of the commercial litigator patners in my firm are less versed in Constitutional law than the summer interns because the last exposure they had on the topic was in law school.

47 posted on 10/07/2005 11:46:54 AM PDT by Texas Federalist (qualified to serve on the United States Supreme Court)
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To: Uncledave

I say we give this a rest until the hearings. I've had it up to here already.

48 posted on 10/07/2005 11:57:00 AM PDT by manwiththehands
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To: MortMan
don't mischaracterize the argument presented.

Because that never occurs in the practice of law, Lord knows.

49 posted on 10/07/2005 12:05:25 PM PDT by martin_fierro (< |:)~)
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To: wideawake
She has a degree in advanced mathematics and 30 years' experience as a successful litigator.

Adding "advanced" sounds sexy, but please be assured that an undergraduate degree in mathematics isn't in any way "advanced". (Disclaimer: I got my math ScB at Brown, and my math PhD at Syracuse.)

50 posted on 10/07/2005 12:12:55 PM PDT by Shalom Israel (Pray for the peace of Jerusalem.)
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To: martin_fierro

Touche, Martin. Touche.

51 posted on 10/07/2005 12:13:37 PM PDT by MortMan (Eschew Obfuscation)
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To: thoughtomator

No. I don't believe lawyers have any monopoly on intellectual capacity or ability to communicate. However, the legal issues presented in some of these cases are complex, even for people who have studied the subject to the point of being expert in it. It is one thing to understand a concept, but it can be quite another thing to understand its importance in the relevant universe of concepts. A non-lawyer, no matter how smart and gifted, would have a lot of trouble doing that in many of the cases that come before the court.

52 posted on 10/07/2005 2:27:08 PM PDT by blau993 (Labs for love; .357 for Security.)
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To: blau993

Understanding importance in the relevant universe of concepts, or as I call it, putting things in perspective, is exactly why there should be at least one non-lawyer on the court. Legal training trains laywers to think in certain ways; someone with a less technical approach would be a great benefit in providing a regular citizen's (the folks to whom the law actually applies) perspective.

53 posted on 10/07/2005 2:35:49 PM PDT by thoughtomator (Corporatism is not conservatism)
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To: RasterMaster
By the way, Miers is against abortion.

How many times must this statement be iterated-and refuted-before people concede that it is based upon nothing, other than mere speculation and wishful thinking on the part of her supporters?

54 posted on 10/07/2005 3:03:16 PM PDT by Do not dub me shapka broham ("I'm okay with being unimpressive. It helps me sleep better.")
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To: Uncledave

contract law is all about the concept of property and mutually agreed obligations

Harriet Miers would not have sided with the majority in Kelo and, more than any of the sitting justices, could have articulated the arguments about property inherent in Kelo. Much better than Scalia or Thomas.

Miers pick may be a reaction by Bush, an MBA, to Kelo. That would be very interesting.

55 posted on 10/07/2005 3:14:45 PM PDT by Phsstpok (There are lies, damned lies, statistics and presentation graphics, in descending order of truth)
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To: Uncledave

I loathe these people who question her intellectual credentials. Her undergrad degree is in mathematics. Mathematicians consider rocket science to be wussy. She is capable of understanding that the Constitution acts in the abstract, she does not need a list of instructions. Unlike Breyer, who I am sure has all the proper credentials.

56 posted on 10/07/2005 3:20:26 PM PDT by AmishDude (Proud inventor of the term "Patsies". Please make out all royalty checks to "AmishDude".)
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To: Shalom Israel

Undergrad math degree beats Harvard Law any day of the week. I don't suppose you knew Brualdi?

57 posted on 10/07/2005 3:22:25 PM PDT by AmishDude (Proud inventor of the term "Patsies". Please make out all royalty checks to "AmishDude".)
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To: cynicom

Hey cynic, at least both the Goldbergs are confirmed conservatives. Where does that leave you?

58 posted on 10/07/2005 3:28:21 PM PDT by Paulus Invictus
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To: blau993

Quite correct. I was trying to make the point that even "constitutional lawyers" have few chances to argue before the court. I managed to get a Writ of Certiorari on one case but it was mooted before argument. The IRS backed down. I would not have argued the case myself. I merely wrote a great deal of the petition along with two other attorneys.

My con law teacher was a Solicitor General under Reagan, or was it earlier? Good man, Rex Lee, may he rest in peace. Even so, his boutique firm had few cases and they were carefully tailored for months and years before reaching that point (i.e., model plaintiff, circuit inconsistences, etc.).

Best of luck in your practice.

59 posted on 10/07/2005 4:47:05 PM PDT by caseinpoint (Don't get thickly involved in thin things)
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To: thoughtomator

We agree to diagree, my friend. Have a great weekend!!

60 posted on 10/07/2005 7:59:05 PM PDT by blau993 (Labs for love; .357 for Security.)
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