Thursday, October 06, 2005

Not only is Ann Coulter crazy and dangerous, she's a snob, too.

Don't get me wrong. I honestly don't know whether this Harriet Miers would be a good Supreme Court Justice or not. I do know that there is nothing in the Supreme Court Justice job description that says, "Must have attended elite university, such as Harvard, Yale, et al." Coulter's reasoning is insultingly forced ["I think we want the nerd from an elite law school" remarkably denigrates "nerds" and non-nerds at the same time], and is fundamentally flawed.

I think there is too much academic in-breeding in the federal judiciary anyway. Why SMU? Why not SMU? Or Tennessee [home of my friend Glenn "Instapundit" Reynolds]. Or American University's Washington College of Law [my alma mater]. Where a lawyer went to school has no impact on what kind of mind that lawyer has, or what kind of judge he/she would make. I say that a little diversity would be good for the Court, and the country.

Now, I guess I'm not too surprised at Coulter's ranting about Miers's background. She went to an "elite" undergraduate school [Cornell], an "elite" law school [Michigan], she was an editor of the law review, she clerked for the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals, and she worked for Floyd Abrams's "elite" law firm in New York City [highly-paid, hundreds of lawyers, most with pedigrees such as Harvard, Yale, Columbia, Virginia, Michigan]. Coulter's looking for a bird of a feather, and appears to take an immediate dislike to an appointee who has the wrong color feathers.

One thing I've figured out over the last 20 years or so: legal elitists tend to a pack mentality; they are most comfortable with people who have similar backgrounds. If I had been top 5% at American University, I might have gotten an interview with Coulter's former firm, had I been so inclined. It's unlikely they would have made me an offer, however. I'm just not in the same club, so to speak.

And at the end, that's what's got Coulter and the other elitists, "liberal" or "conservative," upset. Miers is not in the right club. She doesn't belong.

If we're going to judge this appointee on whether she's "fit" [whatever that means] to sit on the Supreme Court, we should have a reasoned discourse on her qualifications for the job. Maybe she doesn't have the gravitas to deserve the job, but where she matriculated should have nothing to do with the debate.

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