Op-Eds


Biden for the Supreme Court? A Subsidy for Comedy Writers

By John Yoo, Ricochet

At White House Dossier earlier this week, reporter Keith Koffler speculated (tongue seemingly half in cheek) about the possibility of President Obama moving Vice President Biden to the Supreme Court to open up the bottom of the Democratic Party's presidential ticket.

Putting Biden on the Court is just a plot by the comedy writers union to keep themselves in business long after the Obama administration has left the stage. Not only would it keep everyone's favorite gaffe artist around, but it would give Biden a regular speaking opportunity every month during oral argument, where he would have a captive audience of at least two oral advocates. One must pity the counsel who would have to listen to Biden's speeches -- I mean, answer his questions--from the bench. And imagine the possibilities: Biden not just on gay marriage, but on physician-assisted suicide, religious groups in school, abortion, GPS tracking.

But the serious point is that it might not be so bad to have someone other than a judge on the Court.  Agree with their decisions or not, but the two greatest Chief Justices in Supreme Court history -- John Marshall and Earl Warren -- were not lower court judges. Experienced judges bring a particular viewpoint to the job, one that lawyers will generally applaud since they all come from the same culture and have the same training and professional values.  But it may not be the best view (or at least one that should be exclusive) on a Court that is becoming increasingly embroiled in political issues. 5/24/2012