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Saturday, September 22, 2007

De gustibus cerevesiae non scit lex

I'm deeply skeptical of attempts by reporters like the NYT's Adam Liptak to draw broad conclusions about how a nominee for a cabinet post might perform based on the nominee's rulings in a handful of cases he's presided over as a judge. I'm even more skeptical of attempts to compare one such judge's stats against other judges' stats — as if it's meaningful that, in a single particular year,

in criminal cases, he was reversed 20 percent of the time, compared with an overall reversal rate from his court of roughly 15 percent in 2006. But in civil cases, his 24 percent reversal rate compared favorably with the overall rate of roughly 30 percent.

Nonetheless, Liptak's attempt to apply these analytic techniques to Attorney General nominee Michael Mukasey is entertaining, including for the bastardized Latin quote above, a holding that the law does not trouble itself to write about the taste of competing brands of beer. And I'm untroubled by the prospect that the future Attorney General may be "fiercely intelligent, prickly, impatient, practical and suspicious of abstractions." The less polite formulation may be "kicks butt and takes names." For an AG-nominee, that counts as good press. The more I read, the more eager I am to hear from Judge Mukasey at his confirmation hearings. I'm ready to get some cerevesiae chilled down, and I might pop popcorn.

Posted by Beldar at 08:39 PM in Law (2007), Politics (2007) | Permalink


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(1) Carol Herman made the following comment | Sep 24, 2007 12:07:33 AM | Permalink

For what it's worth, Bush has more than a year left in office. And, also for what it's worth, old people die. Or they retire. And, sometimes, ill health takes its toll.

To think that the Justices wait for January 2009 before "thinking" of their future plans?

I just dunno. I don't buy into prognostications about the future.

But Bush really doesn't like to have "battles." IF he can avoid them.

He was successful with the Roberts pick. And, then Rehnquist died.

So who knows?

Did Bush just pick Ted Olsen? No. He did not. Perhaps, he's offering "that hot potato" to the next president, installed at 1600?

But if you can "read" Bush, just by seeing how he treated previous Supreme-O-Court-O-Bench picks; it's possible he's looking at Mukasey that way, too?

In other words? He's looking to confirm an AG. So he has meat to throw on the fire, sure he be given a chance to name another judge to the Big & Tall bench.

Anyway, I wouldn't be surprised.

Bush does have problems "being popular."

Even though I think history will be very kind.

Won't be kind to Bill CLinton, though. Why not? He got caught with his pants down. Maybe, it works for clowns? Doesn't work for men whose wives are at home, while they're doing tricks in the "den."

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