Skip to comments.Yale and Harvard at the Supreme Court (all current Justices are from these law schools)
Posted on 06/28/2012 6:32:50 PM PDT by dennisw
the Supreme Cort will be exclusively filled with judges who earned their law degrees at Harvard or Yale.
That seems somewhat remarkable given that there are more than 1 million lawyers in the United States and 200 law schools approved by the American Bar Association (seven of them are provisionally approved).
Should we care?
Jonathan Turley, a law scholar at George Washington University, does, according to this story from the McClatchy Newspapers.
Youre voiding a wide array of interesting and potentially brilliant nominees, he was quoted as saying. Its like insisting youre only going to read books by two authors."
He further said, Youre taking justices from the same small educational pools, and those justices are reinforcing that same limited population pool in the selection of their clerks. There are certain dangers in small population pools. They tend to replicate the same types of thinking.
Goldman was quoted in the article as saying. It is, he said, somewhat of a coincidence that all of the justices besides the retiring John Paul Stevens, who went to Northwestern Law School, went to Harvard of Yale, as did Kagan.
"I cant buy that a Harvard or a Yale is so parochial that the people coming out have a narrow vision," he said. "If that were the case, we wouldnt have such a sharply polarized Supreme Court."
Well, yes, thats a point: The court is polarized. There is more than one view of the Constitution at these school.
But that may not be THE point. Perhaps this Harvard/Yale club at the Supreme Court is that, in fact, it is not such a coincidence.
This is a country where status is not supposed to matter but does anyway, and there is no denying that Harvard, and then, Yale, have the most in higher education.
(Excerpt) Read more at voices.washingtonpost.com ...
Harriet Myers would not have done this.
But it was Sam Alito who was nominated after Myers withdrew.
Holy cow, when I’m wrong, I’m wrong.
And they are all either Catholic or Jewish, which also colors their thinking on issues such as health care.
The next there justices should be choosen from SEC or Big Ten schools, followed by Pac 12 and one from the Big 12.
let’s mix it up!
afterall, what are the chances that a future Senator ( Gore ) and future Howood celibrity (Tommy Lee Jones) would be roomates?...
its just an exclusive little club and once you get in, you get to be the golfing buddies of all the power people...
its not superior education...
There is a class division and an Eastern elite mentality.
The whole friggin Ivy League needs to be prosecuted via the RICO statutes.Bunch of whores and thieves
The Supreme Court needs more Aggies and Baylor graduates.
The SC used to be a white male Protestant preserve. Jews trend liberal and Catholics trend collectivist and redistributionist these days. Today it has two lesbians and only Catholics and Jews. With three loony leftist women, we've come a long way baby.
When the Supreme Court was established in 1789, the first members came from among the ranks of the Founding Fathers and were almost uniformly Protestant. Of the 112 justices who have been appointed to the court, 91 have been from various Protestant denominations, 12 have been Catholics eight have been Jewish
Most Supreme Court justices have been from various Protestant denominations, and these have included 33Episcopalians, 18 Presbyterians, nine Unitarians, five Methodists, three Baptists, and lone representatives of various other denominations. William Rehnquist was the Court's only Lutheran; Noah Swayne was aQuaker. Some 15 Protestant justices did not adhere to a particular denomination. Notably, the Baptist church and other evangelical churches have been underrepresented on the Court, relative to the population of the United States. So-called mainline Protestant churches have been overrepresented.
With the replacement of David Souter by Sonia Sotomayor in 2009, John Paul Stevens was the lone Protestant remaining on the Court. Following Stevens' retirement in June 2010, the Court had an entirely non-Protestant composition for the first time in its history.
Roman Catholic justices
The first Roman Catholic Justice, Roger B. Taney, was appointed Chief Justice in 1836 by Andrew Jackson. The second, Edward Douglass White, was appointed as an Associate Justice in 1894, but also went on to become Chief Justice. Joseph McKenna was appointed in 1898, placing two Catholics on the Court until White's death in 1921. This period marked the beginning of an inconsistently observed "tradition" of having "Catholic seat" on the court.
Other Catholic justices included Pierce Butler (appointed 1923) and Frank Murphy (appointed 1940). Some accounts note that Sherman Minton, appointed in 1949, was also a Catholic; however, during his time on the Court he was a Protestant, though his wife's Catholic faith was noted at the time in relation to the notion of a "Catholic seat". Minton joined his wife's Catholic faith in 1961, five years after he retired from the Court. Minton was succeeded by a Catholic, however, when PresidentEisenhower appointed William J. Brennan to that seat. In fact, Eisenhower intently sought to appoint a Catholic to the Courtin part because there had been no Catholic Justice since Murphy's death in 1949, and in part because Eisenhower was directly lobbied by Cardinal Francis Spellman of the Archdiocese of New York to make such an appointment. Brennan was then the lone Catholic Justice until the appointment of Antonin Scalia in 1986, and Anthony Kennedy in 1988.
Like Sherman Minton, Clarence Thomas was not a Catholic at the time he was appointed to the Court. Thomas was raised Catholic and briefly attended Conception Seminary College, a Roman Catholicseminary, but had joined the Protestant denomination of his wife after their marriage. At some point in the late 1990s, Thomas returned to Catholicism. In 2005, John Roberts became the third Catholic Chief Justice and the fourth Catholic on the Court. Shortly thereafter, Samuel Alito became the fifth on the Court, and the eleventh in the history of the Court. Alito's appointment gave the Court a Catholic majority for the first time in its history. Besides Thomas, at least one other Justice, James F. Byrnes, was raised as a Roman Catholic, but converted to a different branch of Christianity prior to serving on the Court.
In contrast to historical patterns, the Court has gone from having a "Catholic seat" to being what some have characterized as a "Catholic court." The reasons for that are subject to debate, and are a matter of intense public scrutiny. That the majority of the Court is now Catholic, and that the appointment of Catholics has become accepted, represents an historical 'sea change.' It has fostered accusations that the court has become "a Catholic boys club" (particularly as the Catholics chosen tend to be politically conservative) and calls for non-Catholics to be nominated.
In May 2009, President Barack Obama nominated a Catholic woman, Sonia Sotomayor, to replace retiring Justice David Souter. Her confirmation raised the number of Catholics on the Court to six, compared to three non-Catholics.
You’re spot on regarding Jewishness and social activism, but Thomas, Alito, Scalia are Catholics. I’ll take 5 more Thomases any time. I wish a Pres. Romney would appoint at least 3 Thomases.
Plus Taney, the Courts first Catholic, certainly missed the whole “social justice” theme in Catechism class.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.