Bench Memos

NRO’s home for judicial news and analysis.

RE: Genius Advice


Rick Garnett’s advice is quite sound. One addition: the desirable candidate is not just any “genius” or outstanding “athlete,” but, first and foremost, the best among those with the appropriate originalist judicial philosophy. To illustrate the point perveresly: Justice Kennedy (Bork III) was chosen not because of his sterling intellectual qualifications, profound understanding of the jurisrudence of constitutional interpretation, or brillance of his record on the 9th Circuit. Rather, he was picked because it was believed that he, despite his mediocre qualifications, would at least vote “right” on the important issues before the Court. Mediocre intellects without a well thought out, coherent jurisprudence (and the self-confidence that comes from that) are ill-equipped to withstand the seductive attempts of the liberals.


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