Miers / White
bobsheridan at earthlink.net
Mon Oct 3 10:40:35 PDT 2005
It didn't hurt White that he'd been a nationally known U. Colorado
running back who quit the NFL to accept a Rhodes Scholarship where, in
London, he met Ambassador Joseph Kennedy and son JFK. It further didn't
hurt White that while serving in a Naval Intelligence unit in the
Pacific he investigated JFK's losing of his PT boat in the middle of a
straight, run down and cut in pieces by a Japanase warship, and gave JFK
a clean bill. He later headed the JFK presidential campaign in
Colorado. This does not in any way detract from White's intelligence,
excellent record on civil rights, or his attitude on law and order when
that was up for grabs.
If I were president, I think I'd tend to prefer someone I knew and had
confidence in over someone I only knew on paper, however sterling the
record. LBJ certainly knew what he needed to know about Thurgood
Marshall, one of the few justices who ever did anything notable before
Douglas Laycock wrote:
>It's not just Eugene; Nina Totenberg made the White analogy this
>morning. She quoted Kennedy as saying "I need someone who's strong on
>civil rights and tough on law and order, and that's you Byron."
>Two more nominated because they were close to the President are Sherman
>Minton and Harold Burton.
>University of Texas Law School
>727 E. Dean Keeton St.
>Austin, TX 78705
> 512-232-1341 (phone)
> 512-471-6988 (fax)
>From: conlawprof-bounces at lists.ucla.edu
>[mailto:conlawprof-bounces at lists.ucla.edu] On Behalf Of Volokh, Eugene
>Sent: Monday, October 03, 2005 11:53 AM
>To: CONLAWPROF at lists.ucla.edu
>Subject: Miers / White
> 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
> 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
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