Should we apply the lowest common denominator rule to the selection of Supreme Court Justices?


The classic example of an attempt to apply this rule occurred in the 1970s, when President Nixon nominated G. Harold Carswell for a position on the Supreme Court. It was widely agreed that Carswell was unqualified, in fact mediocre, but that did not dissuade Sen. Roman Hruska (R Neb.).


Senator Hruska gave us this famous appeal to the principle of representation on the Supreme Court: “Even if he is mediocre, there are a lot of mediocre judges and people and lawyers. They are entitled to a little representation, aren’t they, and a little chance?”


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