Miers / White

Volokh, Eugene VOLOKH at law.ucla.edu
Mon Oct 3 09:52:37 PDT 2005


	Is it just me, or are there interesting panels between Harriet
Miers' appointment and Byron White's?  Both had been lawyers rather than
judges or academics; both came to Washington after being involved in the
President's campaign, and after having known the President for some time
before then.  Both, I take it, were appointed in large part because they
had the President's trust.  (I know White had done spectacularly well in
law school, and I don't know about Miers' record; but in any event, I
suspect that his service in the Administration and his having the
President's confidence were in any event more important than his law
school grades.)

	Obviously, the analogy -- or the slight analogy with Powell --
is not intended to be perfect; and the White pattern brings up both
highly regarded Justices like White and less regarded ones like Fortas.
But it seems to me that Miers fits this tradition, which I suspect was
also the pattern for many appointees of the Roosevelt Administration,
more than the Scalia/Ginsburg/Breyer tradition; and comparing her to
other judges in this tradition is more helpful than comparing her to the
more modern pattern, in which the Court is unusually loaded with former
judges and, to a smaller but still historically unusual extent, former
academics.

	Eugene


More information about the Conlawprof mailing list