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Author Topic: Harriet Miers - Is it a good thing for SMU?  (Read 1088 times)

midjeep

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Harriet Miers - Is it a good thing for SMU?
« on: October 15, 2005, 05:15:49 PM »
A number of students here have been talking about how the nomination of Miers will effect SMU. At first I thought it was a no-brainer and that the nomination would put SMU in a positive light, but now I am questioning what this means for my JD. Dumbasses like Anne Coulter are saying that SMU is not prestigious enough and basically saying that no one from SMU is ever qualified for the Supreme Court. Now I know SMU is not Harvard or Yale, but when people try to tarnish my JD with a scarlet letter, I get pissed. Wait until she opens her freakin mouth in the confirmation hearings before condemning her law school. Sorry, this is more of a rant than anything else, but I was just wondering about the opinions of others not at SMU. I don't think there will be a huge increase on the USNews ranking, but our prestige score might go up a bit if she does get on the Supreme Court.
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BigPimpinBU

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Re: Harriet Miers - Is it a good thing for SMU?
« Reply #1 on: October 15, 2005, 05:24:12 PM »
For the record, Anne Coulter was an editor at the Michigan Law Review. Say what you will about her, (e.g., rabid lunatic, attention whore, etc.,) but a "dumbass" she is not. Also, while not passing judgment on SMU specifically, would you agree with the general propositions that graduates of lower tier schools are less qualified to become judges because the quality of their education was not as good? (assuming that there really is a disparity in quality).

Krisace

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Re: Harriet Miers - Is it a good thing for SMU?
« Reply #2 on: October 15, 2005, 08:40:21 PM »
I've got to chip in my two cents.  I absolutely disagree that the quality of education at a second or third tier school is "per se" worse than that at a first tier school.  What I will admit is that quite clearly the quality of the average student is going to be better at a first tier than at a second, third or fourth tier school.

Having been exposed to tier two and tier one law school environments, I am inclined to believe that it is very possible that some students at lower ranked schools are getting a top-rate education.  The rigors are often more necessary at such schools with respect to meeting/raising the bar passage rate.  It may very well be that a second or third tier school provides a better education than a first tier school.

But, with regards to the previous posting, if you want to argue that Miers is less qualified because she went to SMU and not Harvard based on intellect, then fine.  That's another argument that can be countered by her acheivements. 

For the record though, I am a democrat and hoping Miers is not confirmed.

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Re: Harriet Miers - Is it a good thing for SMU?
« Reply #3 on: October 16, 2005, 03:48:00 AM »
There are almost 300 million people in this country -- what is so wrong to expect the ABSOLUTE best on our Supreme Court?  There are probably 10 thousand HLS/YLS alums out there and you are telling me none of them are qualified enough?  Please.


S|

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Re: Harriet Miers - Is it a good thing for SMU?
« Reply #4 on: October 16, 2005, 08:40:23 AM »
There are almost 300 million people in this country -- what is so wrong to expect the ABSOLUTE best on our Supreme Court?  There are probably 10 thousand HLS/YLS alums out there and you are telling me none of them are qualified enough?  Please.



The point is that being a HLS/YLS grad doesn't necessarily translate to being the most qualified. To think that Second and Thrid tier students have no possibility of being as qualified as students who went to top schools is a little naive. Generally it might be true, but your statement suggests that the president would have to work through the 10,000 HLS/YLS grads before he could consider anyone from Stanford, University of Chicago, etc.

gh@yahoo.com

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Re: Harriet Miers - Is it a good thing for SMU?
« Reply #5 on: October 16, 2005, 08:45:20 AM »
What does SMU mean  ???

LibertyBell

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Re: Harriet Miers - Is it a good thing for SMU?
« Reply #6 on: October 16, 2005, 09:19:09 PM »
I think it does bring up some interesting questions about the value of lower tier schools and nominations to the supreme court, but I don't think it will create the blemish that you are worried about.  Meier's biggest problem isn't that she isn't from Harvard or Yale, but that she has never been a judge.  If she were from SMU but had Robert's record as a lawyer and his experience, the school issue would be of null importance.  With the lack of "proper" judicial experience, the school issue comes to the forefront...




A number of students here have been talking about how the nomination of Miers will effect SMU. At first I thought it was a no-brainer and that the nomination would put SMU in a positive light, but now I am questioning what this means for my JD. Dumbasses like Anne Coulter are saying that SMU is not prestigious enough and basically saying that no one from SMU is ever qualified for the Supreme Court. Now I know SMU is not Harvard or Yale, but when people try to tarnish my JD with a scarlet letter, I get pissed. Wait until she opens her freakin mouth in the confirmation hearings before condemning her law school. Sorry, this is more of a rant than anything else, but I was just wondering about the opinions of others not at SMU. I don't think there will be a huge increase on the USNews ranking, but our prestige score might go up a bit if she does get on the Supreme Court.

Lenny

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Re: Harriet Miers - Is it a good thing for SMU?
« Reply #7 on: October 16, 2005, 09:48:50 PM »
I have a problem with Miers being from SMU and being nominated to the Court, but not necessarily because she is from SMU.  Let me clarify.  I am a student at a "T1" school that has produced Supreme Court Justices in that past and I would have a problem with Miers being nominated even if she were from my school.  The key is credibility.  The Court, on the most basic level, requires that the public trust that Supreme Court decisions are well-reasoned and valid explications of the law, not politically motivated.  Having no built-in enforcement mechanism, the Court needs the public to believe in the legal abilities that led to a specific ruling, even if the public does not agree with the outcome in the policy sense.  Extensive judicial experience, a record of respected constitutional arguments in front of the Court, or a file of scholarly publications are all indicia of hightened legal skill, and thus credibility.  Absent these indicia, being from one of the top law schools is a proxy for skill and credibility.  Miers has none of these characteristics.  She is a relatively no-name Texas attorney from good, but not great, school that happened to be in the right place with the right President.  Her appointement will further erode the credibility that the rest of the nation recognized as important after Bush v. Gore.  In short, the problem with Miers being from SMU is not SMU per se - instead, the problem is that her being from SMU does nothing to overcome the lack of other qualifications. 

BigPimpinBU

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Re: Harriet Miers - Is it a good thing for SMU?
« Reply #8 on: October 16, 2005, 09:59:11 PM »
Well, that pretty much sums it up.

midjeep

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Re: Harriet Miers - Is it a good thing for SMU?
« Reply #9 on: October 17, 2005, 11:36:54 AM »
Well I think the big problem that many of these conservatives seem to overlook is the time at which Miers went to law school. Being a female and going to SMU NOW may not be an extrodinary feat, but when Miers went to school, it is something to be impressed at (only 9 females graduated in the same class as Miers). Now I know Ginsberg and O'Connor have her beat regarding prestige and going through any struggles as a female, but saying that her school choice should tar her as unqualified seems a bit harsh (I agree with you that someone with judging experience would be better, but I am only talking about her law school since that seems to be the crux of many conservatives I am pissed at). I realize that Ann Coulter went to Michigan, but she went to law school at a time when being a female wasn't a major hurtle in it of itself. Though struggle is not a credential that should be emphasized when looking for a Supreme Court Justice, I just don't think someone should discount her law degree because she didn't attend an Ivy.
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