As a lawyer trained in another common law legal system (England and Wales), I am often bemused by the selection and workings of US Supreme Court Justices. Its a highly political exercise, as opposed to what is the case in many countries, where often its a senior judge who gets elevated to what is the higest court in the land, (House of Lords in the UK).
The question is
Do you think, from a purely legal point of view that has the political nature of the process harmed or helped the system, with judges being selected purely on the basis of what their personal rather than legal opinions are?
Looking at US Supreme Court Justices, one I think Scalia is brilliant, you may not agree with his opinions and tresties , but they are argued in a manner which is of a very high quality. On the other hand, with Thomas and Ginsberg, you shake your head and wonder, its almost as if they have come to a decision before hand and then try to cherrypick reasons to justify it, good practice for a trial lawyer perhaps, not so much for a judge.