New York Personal Injury Law Blog » Judiciary


February 21st, 2008

Bush Judicial Nominee Found With Scant Courtroom Experience

I hate it when someone with so little experience is nominated for a judgeship. And when I write “so little experience,” I mean I apparently had more in my first full year than Bush’s nominee for the Middle District of Tennessee has had in an entire career. Gustavus Adolphus Puryear IV is the subject of a Stephanie Menicmer skewering that just appeared in Mother Jones.

Leaving aside the roman numerals after his name – blame his parents for that one — what does he bring with him to the bench if confirmed by the Senate? He has this courtroom resume: He has tried two cases, though the article doesn’t say if that means they were actually tried to verdict or he picked a jury and settled.

His current position is that of an executive for a private prison company. And in that capacity had this to say: “Litigation is an outlet for inmates. It’s something they can do in their spare time.” Legal issues that may be raised are, apparently, unimportant.

Now I’m not saying that courtroom experience is a requirement to be a judge. I don’t say that because the Constitution doesn’t say that. But it damn well should be to get past the Senate in their capacity to give advice and consent for judicial nominees.

If you want to know how political connections result in judicial nominations, check out the Mencimer article.

This isn’t about politics of the left or the right, but about basic competence to do a job. Considering that the lives of others would be in his hands, I think that’s kinda important.

The Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on February 12th, and has not yet voted on the nomination.

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