The second correction I’d like to see made has to do with my saying that none of the sitting Justices (plus Scalia) is “qualified” for the Supreme Court except Ginsburg and Breyer. This could be misunderstood to mean that I think the others lack the necessary paper credentials, of which the most important are graduating from a law school and passing the bar exam (though one of our greatest Justices, Robert Jackson, had just a year of law school, and did not graduate). That was not my intention in using the word “qualified” (if I did use it). I meant good enough to be a Supreme Court Justice. There are something like 1.2 million American lawyers, some of whom are extremely smart, fair minded, experienced, etc. I sometimes ask myself: whether the nine current Supreme Court Justices (I’m restoring Scalia to life for this purpose) are the nine best-qualified lawyers to be Justices. Obviously not. Are they nine of the best 100? Obviously not. Nine of the best 1,000? I don’t think so. Nine of the best 10,000? I’ll give them that.I wouldn't call that a "correction." It's pretty much what I understood him to mean the first time around.
And as long as I'm going back to that, let me explain what I meant yesterday when I related that Posner post to the post quoting Howard Stern saying that Donald Trump was able to do a good Howard Stern Show interview because he got in "the spirit of the show" which is "to talk like real people." I said:
Talking like a real person... then running for office. That's dangerous... unless you're a saintly real person. Most politicians get on-task, self-censoring, and robotic. That's the normal way to stay out of this kind of trouble.To get appointed to the Supreme Court you have to control your speech and not give the President's antagonists material they can use against you. You cannot be Robert Bork. That is, you cannot be an outspoken, interesting person like Judge Posner. That's what disqualifies you politically. So there's reason to say that everyone who is really qualified is politically disqualified.
And I do regret using the word "saintly." I think more highly of saints than that, and I bow to Paddy O's comment:
A saint would have even less chance than Trump. A real saint offends all the powerful, so wouldn't even get a chance to stand on a primary stage.