The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

9 October 2005

Justice much as ever

Matt Barr reads John Tierney so you don't have to:

To choose a nominee, we should do more than rely on the president's word or on a confirmation hearing in which [Harriet] Miers will be determined to say nothing of interest. We need the best process available today to determine the nominee's real-world credentials.

That, of course, would be a reality TV show. Pit Miers against other would-be justices in "Road Rulings," which would test their real-worldliness as they traveled the hinterland in an RV. They'd cope with the arcana of daily life. Do they know what a gallon of milk costs? Can they pump their own gas?

They'd emerge in small towns and large malls to test their legal skills. Can they help someone beat a speeding ticket? Can they arbitrate a divorce settlement? How will they apply the Supreme Court's definition of obscenity when they hear a case by a church group demanding that a newsstand stop selling Hustler and Barely Legal? Can they explain to a family why it would be a "public use" for the government to take its home to make room for Costco?

Of course, should this turn out to be a ratings hit, they'll drag it out for as long as possible, but Tierney's thought of that too:

If this competition seems too time-consuming — I realize we have a vacancy to fill — then we could instead quickly replace Miers with a nominee who already has the perfect credentials, starting with her sex. She's an experienced judge yet hasn't ruffled feathers with rulings on constitutional law, and no one can accuse her of living in a judicial monastery.

Just this week she has dispensed justice to a tenant accused of making $3,000 in 900-number calls, a woman battling with her nanny over a loan for back surgery, and a 9-year-old girl accused of popping wheelies and wrecking a motorized minibike at a birthday party. If real-world experience is what the Supreme Court requires, all rise for Justice Judy.

I like. But how does Judy rate on the mysterious Poindexter factor?

Posted at 7:22 PM to Political Science Fiction


I can't quite track Mr. Barr here, and I'm going to stop by his joint and tell him so. He calls Tierney an "elitist sexist snob" but he seems to like this column, at least. You say you like it, too. And I like it. I actually have found a lot to like about Tierney, and said so in my blog. He's one guy I'm truly sorry not to have around these days, especially since he had been spending his time kicking the "real" elitist sexist way-leftist NY Times' snobs around.

As far as the Poindexter factor being mysterious - yeah, it probably needs an explanatory chart. A pie chart. Mmmmmmmm... pie chart. Gotta go.

Posted by: Mr. Snitch! at 8:25 PM on 9 October 2005