From my cover story in the Reno News & Review this week:
The problem with the Supreme Court is that the justices are lawyers.
No, that is not a joke from a late night TV show. It’s a searing truth.
Lawyers are legalistic rather than humanistic. They are narrow-minded rather than broad-minded. They “follow the law” of yesteryear rather than meet the problems of today.
They favor corporations rather than consumers and the working class. They tend to be conservative personally and pragmatically. You don’t get ahead in the legal fraternity by being a radical.
Most federal judges are rich. In two terms, President Reagan appointed 279 U.S. judges. The majority each had a net worth of $400,000. One fifth of them were millionaires. Such judges are unlikely to see things from the perspective of ordinary folks.
Most justices have been mediocrities. President Washington named 10 justices, “a thoroughly undistinguished lot,” Peter Irons writes in A People’s History of the Supreme Court.