Bush Willing to Consider Non-Judges for the Court
President Bush said on Wednesday he would be willing to consider people who are not judges for a Supreme Court opening a day after key senators recommended he broaden his search.
Bush is seeking to avoid a bitter partisan battle over his choice for the U.S. high court, which rules on many social issues like abortion and civil rights, and is consulting members of Congress on who they would like to see on the high court while insisting they will not get a veto on his selection.
Many of the potential candidates for the job to replace retiring Justice Sandra Day O’Connor are believed to be U.S. circuit court judges. A small bipartisan group of senators who met with Bush on Monday said he should also consider non-judges.
“Would I be willing to consider people who had never been a judge? And the answer is: You bet. We’re considering all kinds of people: judges, non-judges,” Bush told reporters after a Cabinet meeting.
Hardly unprecedented, to be sure. As long as someone has a sound legal mind, I’m not sure service on a lower court is particularly useful, given that the Supreme Court is sui generis.