The Duck of Minerva

The Duck Quacks at Twilight

It’s the end of the world as we know it

October 7, 2005

And now, a phrase I never thought that I would write: “I agree with Charles Krauthammer.”

. . . the Supreme Court is an elite institution. It is not one of the “popular” branches of government. That is the reason Sen. Roman Hruska achieved such unsought immortality when he declared, in support of an undistinguished Nixon nominee to the court, that, yes, G. Harrold Carswell is a mediocrity but mediocre Americans deserve representation on the court as well.

To serve in Congress, or even as president, there is no requirement for scholarship and brilliance. For good reason. It is not needed. . . . But constitutional jurisprudence is different. It is, by definition, an exercise of intellect steeped in scholarship. Otherwise it is nothing but raw politics.

Politics makes is strange bedfellows, indeed.

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Patrick Thaddeus Jackson is Professor of International Studies in the School of International Service, and also Director of the AU Honors program. He was formerly Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of International Relations and Development, and is currently Series Editor of the University of Michigan Press' book series Configurations: Critical Studies of World Politics.