Friday, October 07, 2005

Law School Daze

I'm no fan of the Harriet Miers nomination, but dismissing her qualifications to serve as a SCOTUS Justice simply because she didn't graduate from an elite (i.e., "Top 20") law school is just, I don't know, weak. In fact, some prominent conservative commentators who have been making an issue out of where Ms. Miers got her Juris Doctor from are looking downright foolish. Take, for example, Ann Coulter, who in her most recent article takes a thinly veiled swipe at the intellectual prowess of Ms. Miers by pointing out that she graduated from Southern Methodist University School of Law, "which is not ranked at all by the serious law school reports and ranked No. 52 by US News and World Report."

Coulter goes on to write that "if we're looking for lawyers with giant brains to memorize obscure legal cases and to compose clearly reasoned opinions about ERISA pre-emption, the doctrine of equivalents in patent law, limitation of liability in admiralty, and supplemental jurisdiction under Section 1367 — I think we want the nerd from an elite law school."

Compare Coulter's not so subtle put-down of "undistinguished" (her word) schools like SMU Law with the following excerpt she wrote a whole month and a half ago about the nomination of John Roberts to the SCOTUS.

Like John Roberts, Souter attended church regularly. Souter was also touted for his great intellect. He went to Harvard! And Harvard Law! (Since when does that impress right-wingers? So did Larry Tribe. It is one of the eternal mysteries of the world that liberals are good test-takers.)

Kind of makes your head spin, doesn't it? I mean, talk about your double standards! Who cares where John Roberts went to law school, but can you believe where Harriet Miers' law school is ranked? (BTW, SMU Law is tied for number 52 with the school that Priscilla Owens, a conservative favorite who had been rumored to be on Bush's list of SCOTUS nominees, graduated from: Baylor University Law).

There are a lot of reasons for why the nomination of Harriet Miers to the SCOTUS is bad; primary of which is the fact that she has no discernable judicial record from which to guage how she will rule once confirmed. We don't need another David Souter, much less another Sandra Day O'Connor. However, questioning Miers' qualifications for the SCOTUS because she didn't graduate from an elite school is, well, elitist. It's also not very credible when you consider that quite a few of the other folks that conservatives would have been perfectly happy to see nominated (e.g., Owens, Karen Williams, Alice Batchelder, William Pryor, and even Sen. Sam Brownback [I think Feddie at Southern Appeal once threw his name out there]) didn't graduate from any of the so-called cream of the crop law schools.

Addendum: Although she's been all over the map on whether the law school a SCOTUS nominees graduates from makes a difference, Ann Coulter has at least been consistent in opposing the confirmation of both John Roberts and Harriet Miers.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Trust Me?

With regard to the selection of Harriet Miers to the SCOTUS, Mr. President, that just isn't going to work with me. I trusted you to select a known judicial conservative, not someone who we have to hope is one and will remain so once she gets confirmed to the Court -- for life.

Like what Monica Lewinsky did to Bill Clinton, Dubya blew this selection big time.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Wonder if the Responsorials Were Sung by a Wannabe Burt Bacharach

Via Amy Welborn, some pics of very important people who attended the annual Red Mass in DC today.

By coincidence, today I went to Mass at a parish in Irvine that is named after St. Thomas More, the patron saint of attorneys and politicians. It was my first time at this parish, and although there wasn't any mention of the DC Red Mass, I did get to hear, uh, an interesting piano rendition of the Gloria. I swear, at times I thought I was at a nightclub or piano bar. And the chatter that was going on just before Mass...UGH!!