Sorry, Matt -- Oprah Winfrey would not make a good Supreme Court Justice. Sure, she has compassion, and yes, she'd be a reliable pro-choice vote. Having a background in the entertainment industry, she may have some understanding of copyright and trademark law. But for all her business acumen, she is ill-prepared to handle the subtleties of admiralty disputes, exclusionary rule challenges, patent claims, and transational jurisdictional issues like forum selection and choice-of-law clauses?
My read of Ms. Winfrey's biography suggests that she has two years of college at Tennessee State University but does not mention any formal education past that. Which is not to say she's unintelligent; quite to the contrary, I'm convinced that she's quite intelligent and if she didn't complete her degree, well, 2.8 billion dollars and a huge media empire later has proven that maybe you don't need to do that in every case. Ms. Winfrey's intelligence is not the issue here. Mr. Yglesias' apparent decision to set his own intelligence aside, and offer this deeply silly suggestion, is the issue.
We're talking about a lifetime appointment to the highest court of the nation here. Let's at least get a lawyer.
Hat tip to David Schraub at Debate Link for the lead to this truly daffy idea.