I know very little about Ms. Kagan, but given my own druthers regarding diversity on the court (of views and experience, in particular, more than race and gender), I find complaints about Kagan's lack of judicial background a little silly. They're even more absurd when coming from people who took the opposite view when it was politically expedient. One of the worst offenders on that score is US Sen. John Cornyn. Rick Casey at the Houston Chronicle points out that Cornyn:
isn't a stickler for previous judicial experience in Supreme Court nominees.
“Although she has no prior judicial experience, this was true for nearly 40 percent of the men and women who have served as Supreme Court justices,” he said.
Oh, wait. He said that in 2005 regarding Harriet Miers, President George W. Bush's former White House counsel and unsuccessful Supreme Court nominee. I guess Cornyn isn't as impressed with Wallace Jefferson as I am, because he's since changed his mind.
“Ms. Kagan is likewise a surprising choice because she lacks judicial experience,” he said this week. “Most Americans believe that prior judicial experience is a necessary credential for a Supreme Court Justice.” (I'm indebted to the Dallas Morning News for spotting Cornyn's evolution over the past five years.)
If most Americans do believe that, then Texas voters may be mildly un-American, at least when it comes to voting for members of our own “supreme court” for criminal cases.
Five of the nine members of the Court of Criminal Appeals list no prior judicial experience in their official biographies.
That's pretty crass, don't you think?