As we contemplate who the next Supreme Court Justice will actually be, it is important to recognize that, over the past twenty-five years, the highest court has been strikingly devoid of a member who has practiced criminal defense.
The increasing restrictions placed on defendants by the nation’s highest court are concerning and not just from the perspective of jurisprudence. While it is important to have a Supreme Court comprised of highly qualified candidates, their pedigree is not the only factor of significance.
There is much to be said about the kind of understanding and insight that can be brought by a lawyer who has devoted her/his life to fighting for those charged with crimes of the type that often make it difficult to see past all of that and nevertheless advocate for those individuals to be treated justly.
Hopefully a new administration will have the opportunity as well as the inclination to nominate someone like this.