U.S. Supreme Court
Scalia Worried About Supreme Court Filled with Experienced Judges
Posted Jan 5, 2010 8:08 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia points out that all the justices on the U.S. Supreme Court have prior judicial experience—and he says that’s not necessarily a good thing.
When he was nominated to the bench, Scalia said in a Monday speech, there were three justices with no prior judicial experience, the Associated Press reports. He told a luncheon sponsored by the Mississippi College School of Law that he’s worried about the trend to nominate only justices with prior judicial experience.
A varied career brings additional insights, Scalia said. "That's why I think it's good for the court to have people of varying backgrounds."
Scalia said he is worried the trend is leading to the European system, where law graduates choose whether to become lawyers or judges, and stay in that position their entire careers.
People with only judicial experience "come to think the government is always right," he said. "Now you contrast that with the Anglo-Saxon system where, in the most important courts, the judges not only have not been spending their whole lives with their snout in the public trough, they've been suing the government. They've been defending their clients against the government. [It's] a different mindset."