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Congressman John Duncan

Representing the 2nd District of Tennessee

Congressman Duncan's Statement on the Supreme Court Justice Vacancy (Click Here to Read Full Statement)

July 2, 2018
Editorial

President Trump has already said he is going to appoint a new Supreme Court Justice from a previously-referenced list of 25 current judges.

I am sure they are all good judges and honorable men and women.  I was a judge for 7 ½ years before coming to Congress.

I have great respect for those who serve in our Nation’s Judiciary and several judges are good friends of mine.

However, I wish President Trump and future Presidents would consider lawyers who have spent most of their careers in private practice and especially those who have actually tried jury trials and represented individual, ordinary citizens.

No one likes pressure and competition, but both make people better in any job or profession.  The lawyers who are under the most pressure and who face the most competition are those who are in private practice.

And the lawyers who are under the greatest pressure are trial lawyers who actually occasionally face a jury.

Also, the judges who are under the most pressure are trial court judges who have to make rulings on the spot right in the middle of sometimes tense, hard-fought trials.

It is no criticism to say that the least pressure is on appellate court judges.  Yet it seems that now we appoint to the highest court in the land only law professors, appellate court judges, or those who have had a very high class, genteel private practice.

I think that we are eliminating many of the greatest lawyers in this Country by not even considering those who have represented a wide variety of people in a rough and tumble private practice.

I realize that most plaintiffs’ lawyers are liberals who support Democrats for public office.

But there are actually conservative plaintiffs’ lawyers out there, and I don’t think it would hurt to have at least one on our Supreme Court.