Practical Potter and Even More Thoughts on the Politics of SCOTUS in 2006
The first President Bush was, I think, close friends with Justice Potter Stewart, who rose to SCOTUS after four years as a federal judge, and who, notably, retired at the age of 66. Stewart’s opinions were pointed, and usually correct in my view. His job was to get it right, not construct overarching theories. How will Harriet Miers turn out on the SCOTUS? My best guess is a lot like Potter Stewart, in temperment and tone, and in results.
I must tell you, however, that I am rather calmed down now. A little optimistic. Maybe Miers’ll be all right. Maybe our initial reactions are overblown. And maybe some of the most thunderous conservative commentary has been a little insulting ‘” to Bush and to Miers. Wrongly insulting.
I was very much comforted by a talk I had with a federal-judge friend. I thought he would be mortified, as so many of us have been. And I was shocked to find that he was delighted with the choice ‘” and thought the general conservative criticism was bunk.
Since sociology ‘” the awful matter of class ‘” has played a role in the Miers brouhaha, I might give you this judge’s credentials: He went to the very fanciest schools in the country (starting with prep school). He was a partner at just about the fanciest firm in the country. And he was a federal judge pretty early. In other words, he is at the top of the elite heap.
And he thinks Miers is superbly qualified ‘” loves her background, loves what she has done. Loves what he thinks he knows about her character, and her work habits. Thinks she would be terrific on the Court. ‘The Supreme Court is packed with former Court of Appeals judges,’