April 15, 2005


What may be behind long nominee battles: In one theory, a stellar résumé actually causes delay in Senate confirmation of judicial picks. (Warren Richey, 4/15/05, The Christian Science Monitor)

Remember when your parents told you if you are smart, study hard, and do well in school, you will be rewarded with a great career?

That might hold true for astrophysicists, accountants, and veterinarians. But according to at least one scholar, it doesn't hold for nominees to a federal appeals court. For them, he says, dumber is better.

This is the provocative conclusion of John Lott, an economist at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, who studied the judicial confirmation process in the US Senate dating back to the Carter administration. He wanted to know why certain judicial nominees have been singled out for harsher treatment - including, most recently, filibusters.

Opposition senators of both parties have long emphasized ideology as their key concern - either excessive conservatism or excessive liberalism. Individuals with extreme views generally don't make good judges. But Mr. Lott says other factors may be playing a key role.

"It is pretty much the dumber you are, the easier it is to get on the court," he says.

It's good to be the Stupid Party!

Posted by Orrin Judd at April 15, 2005 8:33 AM
Comments for this post are closed.