Who Belongs On The Supreme Court?

Oct 3, 2018

The Supreme Court stands between the citizens and an oppressive government. It is the enforcer of the Bill of Rights. The citizens who drafted the Constitution knew from their experience with King George that they had to spell out the limits of government power.

The present nomination debacle led me to check my vague notion that only Harvard and Yale law grads were appointed to the Supreme Court.

Did you know that for the last 38 years all 12 nominees but one graduated from Harvard or Yale? and the one was from Stanford. Harvard had eight. Only one man had any significant trial experience and he represented multi-billion dollar corporations.

In a recent Chicago Tribune article Professor Cass Sunstein of Harvard Law bemoaned the fact that virtually all university faculty are Democrats. He argued for ideological diversity. He quoted John Stuart Mill who said that the value of placing people in contact with “persons dissimilar to themselves” can not be measured. The Professor Sunstein should look at recent nominees to the Court.

“The elitism on the Supreme Court is worrying,” said Benjamin Barton, a law professor at University of Tennessee at Knoxville. “From the age of 18, these people have all essentially done the same thing, followed the same path, run in the same cloistered circles. That’s not healthy.”


I believe judges should have actual jury trial experience as advocates. Arid academic theory is no substitute for actual experience. A classroom and debate society are not a trial.

We need a Supreme Court manned and womaned from the trial courts with a variety of law schools and backgrounds, not denizens of Harvard, Yale, and elite upbringing.

I’m Karl Winkler, and that’s my perspective.