George Will may not realize that many lawyers interpret the Constitution every week. It's not a dusty old document no one pays any attention to in real-world practice. It's extremely handy for beating people with otherwise good cases. Criminal lawyers use it to get rid of compelling evidence. I've used it in employment cases to get rid of people my clients shafted. The Constitution is highly useful to ordinary real-world lawyers, and we are perfectly capable of understanding it.I'm not a lawyer. I was, for a time, a humble paralegal in a small practice. In the summer, when the law school clerks would show up, the partner I worked (mainly) for used to test them against me at a variety of research and writing tasks, along with grunt work like title searches, tax lien searches, and process service (which the clerks always thought was below them). They always lost, after which he'd call them into his office and give them his talk, which usually went something like this: "Look at this jerk-off who just kicked your ass. He's never seen a moment of law school, he's wearing socks that don't match, he probably had three drinks at lunch, and has likely spent the better part of the afternoon surfing internet porn on the firm's T-1 line. And you've spent a year at G-town Law. You should be ashamed."
I don't know what George Will's real beef is, but he is beyond wrong on this one. He ought to retract his ridiculous argument before it becomes a source of embarrassment.
The partner had been a f*ck up himself, barely got out of college, ended up in a very small law school. Naturally, he took a liking to me. But he was smart. He knew that "the law" consisted mainly of shit you could look up if you needed to. He preferred to have me, the uneducated paralegal, do his research because I hadn't been to law school. Honestly, I was a more creative thinker than any of the DC-law-school brats that clerked there. That was of more value to him.
It's possible that Bush feels this way about Miers. (Like I said, I have my doubts.) I'm curious to see how she handles herself at the hearings. If she's a sharp thinker, who cares if she's never been on the bench? (Smart people can figure out just about any job on the planet.) Honestly, the average auto mechanic needs to keep a lot more relevant technical information in his head than the average judge. Not just more but more complicated information, in fact. Lawyers like to think of themselves like scientists or surgeons, practitioners of a complicated and esoteric body of skill and knowledge. The fact is, if they'd drop the silly Latin crap, a smart high schooler could practice law pretty successfully. I think that it chaps their ass to see someone like Miers get the nod. I mean, what have you been hearing? Didn't write for law review. Didn't go to a top school. Law practice was not at a top-tier firm.
F*ck it. We'll see how qualified she is, but most of this noise is BS. Honestly, it's just not that hard a job, as evidenced by some of the poorly reasoned opinions that flow from the court with alarming regularity.
More: I'm also reading in various places that, to paraphrase, "even if Miers is conservative, there are plenty other conservatives with judicial experience who would be better nominees." But nobody gives any names, so I dismiss it as posturing. Honestly, with the current climate in the Senate, who can you pick that doesn't have a paper trail? I think a lot of the GOP, as I said before, just wants Bush to stick it to the Judiciary Committee, and to the Senate, on principle and make them filibuster. It's dumb.