Wednesday, July 20, 2005

The High Court

All of this supreme court talk in the news as of late has brought me back to the first supreme court nomination that I can remember. No one ever forgets his first exposure to the supreme court nomination process, and I am no exception. The first nomination that I have any recollection of is the classic Robert Bork nomination. The thing is, I was kinda young back then, so I didn't really understand the whole thing. As it turns out, until very recently, I thought that the reason that Bork didn't get a seat on the court was because he was too conservative AND schmoked schome weed back in the day. In fact, it was Douglas Ginsburg, the judge that Reagan appointed after Bork was bork'd by the Senate, who got taken down by the herb. For years I puzzled over how Bork could be too conservative for mainstream America and a total pothead, but I guess it didn't confound me enough to inspire me to try and set the record straight.

There is an interesting postscript to this story. A couple years back, I saw Douglas Ginsburg speak at my friend's law school commencement at Boston University. It was, without a doubt, the worst graduation speech I've ever heard in my life. It was essentially a lecture from a constitutional law course about court packing. Had I not recently listened to a radio talk show that discussed the same topic, I would have been completely lost. After the speech, he walked off the podium and exited the building through the door behind the stage. The only thing that would've made his exit more humorous would've been if we actually heard his tires squeal as he peeled out of the alley behind the building.


MDS said...

It's amazing that merely admitting having smoked pot was enough to get a nominee derailed like that. Of course, Reagan scored so many political points with his "just say no" stuff that it would be pretty hard for him to justify appointing someone who had schmoked schome weed.

I'm surprised that more candidates haven't gotten Borked. The founding fathers put the advise and consent clause in there for a reason, but it seems like most of the time it's just assumed that the president can get his man.

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