The two criteria, the three criteria that matter, are obviously intelligence and persuading skills. That you have to be able to — It’s a collegial process, you need to be to convince and persuade people who may not be completely sharing your philosophy, that the philosophy that undergirds your decisionmaking is based on not legislating from the bench, not wandering away from the constructs of the Constitution, but strictly interpreting the law.
And third, that you have a proven record that goes along with it. One of the frustrations that I’ve had is that people that don’t have a proven record get appointed to the Court and then they wander. And you go, how could that be? You know, it’s a challenge. So the reason that we have picked people who haven’t had judicial experience to positions — appellate court level and Supreme Court-level — is that it requires a fight to get it done. Because we’re in this partisan environment now where every one of these appointees will be a big huge fight.
And so I believe we need to have people of experience – of a proven record – a consistent judicial philosophy — that you know because they’ve done it over and over and over again. And then you gotta fight like hell to make sure they get passed. And that’s my pledge.