Thursday, May 13, 2010

No experience needed

Earlier this week State District Judge Susan Criss from down in Galveston posted a comment on her Facebook page that 40 of the 111 Chief Justices of the U.S. Supreme Court had no experience as judges. Then Rick Casey of the The Houston Chronicle wrote about the lack of judicial experience for judges on the two highest courts in the state. According to Mr. Casey, five of the judges on the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals had no judicial experience prior to being elected (I don't know if using Judge Killer as an example is a good idea, however). He also pointed out that the Chief Justice of the Texas Supreme Court, Wallace Jefferson never wore a judge's robe before he was appointed to the court.

Senate Republicans are aiming to make an issue of President Obama's selection to fill the seat of Justice John Paul Stevens having no prior judicial experience. Elena Kragan is the Solicitor General for the United States and argues before the Supreme Court on issues involving the federal government. Funny that Republicans didn't have a problem with President George W. Bush's selection of Harriet Miers, former White House Counsel, to fill a seat on the bench. But, then, consistency has never been a priority of the two major parties.

Neither former Chief Justice Earl Warren nor Chief Justice William Rehnquist, appointed by Presidents Eisenhower and Nixon respectively, had any prior judicial experience before taking their seats on the high court.
The judicial Power of the United States, shall be vested in one supreme Court, and in such inferior Courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish. -- U.S. Constitution, Art. III, Sec. 1
The U.S. Supreme Court was created by Article III of the United States Constitution. Interestingly enough, there is no requirement that a nominee for the Court even be a lawyer.

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