Dear Mr. President,
The departure of Justice Scalia has left an immediate vacancy on the Supreme Court. I am hereby humbly – my hands are shaking as I write this – applying for that job.
I am not talking “Lifetime Appointment” – that is understandably out of the question. I would not actually want that. Who wants to physically deteriorate in public?
I am thinking about a temporary appointment – until the next president is elected. I believe I can capably handle things in the interim, which includes months of “Vacation Adjournment” so we are talking about a few weeks. A handful of cases. Hopefully easy ones.
I believe that what I am proposing here for is doable. Correct me if I’m wrong – I am aware you used to teach this stuff – but I have this recollection from the “Constitutional Law” class I took recently at UCLA Extension that to serve on the Supreme Court, you do not necessarily have to be an attorney.
In that case, a guy who wrote for Taxi and The Larry Sanders Show is not unilaterally disqualified. Okay, I only “consulted” on Larry Sanders, but still.
I understand that what I am suggesting is radical, but I am convinced it’s not crazy. Why not, for the first time in history, appoint a “regular person” to the Supreme Court? Instead of… – Man, I’d hate to be wrong about this; it would knock a big hole in my credibility – having, as we have now, justices, all of whom were appellate judges. Or at least judges. I may be “off” with the “appellate.” Forgive me. I’m ignorant, and I’m scared.
Think about that. One hundred percent Supreme Court Justices with the same background. And not a single person from show business. Can that really be acceptable?
Here’s something you probably already know.
Other countries – you can Google which ones because I do not know them offhand – offer appointed triumvirates, mixing “lay” people and practicing attorneys, injecting a variety of experiences into the adjudicating procedure.
So there’s precedent. Unless by “precedent” you mean American precedent, in which case there isn’t. As you see, I can talk like an attorney if I have to. Although I am not certain that’s a “plus”.
Two Questions You May Want To Ask Me:
“Are you qualified to serve on the Supreme Court?”
Technically, I am not. I did attend law school for six weeks, which I imagine, as a qualification, is hardly sufficient. And it was a Canadian law school at that.
The thing is, applying the commonly accepted standard of “qualified” would preclude a vast number of us from gaining ascendancy to the Highest Court in the Land, leaving only attorneys for effective consideration.
I do not know this for certain, but barring a person from serving on the Supreme Court because they are not an attorney when it is not a Constitutional requirement that they be an attorney – that sounds like “workplace discrimination” to me. Should that be happening at the Supreme Court? I mean, “Holy Frankfurter!”
“Can you be impartial?”
Okay, this is going to be controversial. But in my view, no judges are impartial. You want evidence? Every important Supreme Court decision that’s gone 5-to-4 along ideological fault-lines.
I have never understood this. There’s a “Confirmation Hearing” for Supreme Court Justice. The candidate’s record as a lower court judge reflects that, when ideological considerations are involved, they rule consistently in what can be objectively determined to be a liberal or conservative direction. A senator on the Judiciary Committee then asks,
“Can you be impartial?”
It seems to me the only honest answer they can give to the question of impartiality is:
“Well I haven’t been so far.”
What do I offer as candidate for temporary Supreme Court Justice? Honesty. Punctuality. And, holding my biases in check, an unequivocally open mind. Rest assured, I will not “nickel-and-dime” you on compensation. I’ll take whatever you’re offering. A “pro-rated” arrangement comes to mind. You can “round up” or “round down”. I am not losing this job over pennies.
Mr. President, we have an opportunity to be bold. Try something memorable. Something for the history books beyond “He was the first African-American president” and “He liked to sing.”
You want to go the “traditional” route? Fine. See where that gets you. Tipoff: “Guantanamo – open or closed?”
Will it be easy? Of course not. But to those who say that my confirmation to the Supreme Court is an unfathomable “Hail Mary”, I say: Mr. President,
And let it fly.
(Applicant for the opening at the Supreme Court.)
(Note to Readers: If any of you knows President Obama or somebody who does, I’d appreciate it if you would pass this along. Thank you.)