SLevinson at law.utexas.edu
Sun Oct 9 12:59:49 PDT 2005
John Noble's comment strikes me as exactly right. I'm sure that Ms.
Meirs has some genuine strengths, even if knowledge of (what law
professors deem) constitutional law isn't one of them. Elena Kagan gave
a talk yesterday at the installation of new members into the American
Academy--the law initiates were Elena, Jack Balkin, Sylvia Law, Duncan
Kennedy, F.A.O. Schwartz, and the late William Rehnquist--in which she
quoted a current justice of the US Supreme Court who, after attending a
recent gathering of constitutional law/theory buffs, said that he did
not understand most of what was being said and found it utterly beside
the point with regard to what he actually does as a justice.
From: conlawprof-bounces at lists.ucla.edu
[mailto:conlawprof-bounces at lists.ucla.edu] On Behalf Of JFN
Sent: Sunday, October 09, 2005 3:40 PM
To: CONLAWPROF at lists.ucla.edu
Subject: Re: Questioning Miers
Either Jim Dyke's claim regarding Miers' mastery of constitutional law
was the worst lead of all time, or he's setting up a finesse. I would
expect Miers to acknowledge in her opening statement that "mastery"
isn't close to accurate; that she hasn't looked at the Slaughterhouse
cases since law school; that she has not closely followed the
development of constitutional law during her 35-year career handling
more mundane matters; that her greatest successes were in keeping her
clients out of court; and having succeeded in keeping them all out of
the Supreme Court, her qualifications bear closer resemblance to those
of Lewis Powell than Abe Fortas.
Unless conservative Republicans are going to try to defeat the
nomination, which seems unlikely, I would expect Hatch to be able to
control majority members of the Committee, and insure that they do not
try to embarrass her. I expect the usual pomposity from Biden, but more
condescending than cruel. Questions of the sort you suggest aren't
improper or insulting in a conlaw class seminar; but to the American
public watching on television, it would look like the inquisitor was
playing "gotcha" unless they were fed to the nominee in advance.
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