Republican Senator John Cornyn of Texas had a complaint today about the Supreme Court after the announcement of the nomination of Elena Kagan to replace John Paul Stevens on the high Court.
His complaint is that her background, and basically that of most Supreme Court nominees for a long time, has been one of having connections to Cambridge (Harvard University), Hyde Park (University of Chicago), and Washington, DC!
Actually, it should be said, to be technically correct, that some of the Supreme Court Justices come from New Haven (Yale University), and Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg from NYC (Columbia University)! Also, a good number have had their life experiences affected by New York or California residence.
And so, the thought is, is this a problem? NO, as the facts are that our leading legal scholars and brilliant judicial minds come from the Boston-NYC-Washington DC megalopolis, as well as from Chicago and California! These ARE the leading academic and intellectual centers in the nation, whether people from the hinterland and the South want to accept it!
Do we really want people on the Supreme Court who come from second level law schools? Do we want “mediocre” members in their education and experiences involved in interpreting our Constitution?
Senator Cornyn sounds too much like former Republican Senator Roman Hruska of Nebraska, who tried to defend Florida judge G. Harold Carswell, appointed by President Richard Nixon to the Supreme Court. Carswell proved to be by far the most mediocre and incompetent Justice nominee in many years, and was defeated in the Senate, but not before Hruska admitted Carswell was mediocre, but declared that were not “mediocre” citizens entitled to representation on the Supreme Court? The answer is obviously NO!
We cannot afford anything other than the best of our country on the Supreme Court, and it is time to recognize where our intellectual and academic best are found in this nation! No one should feel cheated by us gaining the highest quality nominees, even if they are primarily from three locations geographically! We deserve nothing but the best!