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The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law Working Paper Series

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Foreseeing Greatness? Measurable Performance Criteria And The Selection Of Supreme Court Justices, James J. Brudney Dec 2004

Foreseeing Greatness? Measurable Performance Criteria And The Selection Of Supreme Court Justices, James J. Brudney

The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law Working Paper Series

This article contributes to an ongoing debate about the feasibility and desireability of measuring the "merit" of appellate judges--and their consequent Supreme Court potential--by using objective performance variables. Relying on the provocative and controversial "tournament criteria" proposed by Professors Stephen Choi and Mitu Gulati in two recent articles, Brudney assesses the "Supreme Court potential" of Warren Burger and Harry Blackmun based on their appellate court records. He finds that Burger's appellate performance appears more promising under the Choi and Gulati criteria, but then demonstrates how little guidance these quantitative assessments actually provide when reviewing the two men's careers ...