Bush announced today that his controversial nominee for the Supreme Court, Harriet Miers, requested
that he withdraw her name from consideration. The official reason
was due to the potential for conflicts over her work as White House
counsel; with little other basis to evaluate her work, even strongly
conservative Senators were hinting that they would need to see those
documents. Unofficially, the vocal discontent of the Republican
base was probably a factor.
With Miers out of the way, and Democrats already speculating that her
nomination was a Rove plot all along, the question of who Bush will
nominate as her replacement surely looms large. Will he take
offense at what he might perceive as a betrayal by the right, and
nominate a similar candidate? Or will the right receive what they
are demanding -- a judge with both stellar qualifications on
Constitutional law and a record demonstrating an originalist judicial
That's hard to say, but I am convinced we dodged a bullet with Miers. Here's why I finally came down as opposing her:
No judicial record. First and foremost, a Supreme Court
justice is a judge. The task of judging cases is different from
the task of being an advocate for a client; the difference is not
insurmountable but the results reached may well be different.
Her only significant experience with Constitutional law consists of documents unquestionably protected by executive privilege.
The writing samples available to us are relatively unclear and
muddled. Clarity of thought is usually expressed in clarity of
the written word. Lack of clarity in the writing of a Supreme
Court decision can cost billions of dollars in legal fees.
Leaked rumors that Miers may once have owned a gun and may once
have had a concealed carry permit sound like a bone tossed to a stray
dog. There's no meat on it. Owning a gun, even carrying a
gun while a public figure and government official, does not translate
into a favorable position on guns. Just ask Feinstein.
The fact that she has not specialized her career in
Constitutional law means that she has begun forming serious legal
opinions about the Constitution only recently. There would be a
substantial risk that an inexperienced Constitutional lawyer on the
court would grow up... like Souter.
No sense of what her positions are on Constitutional issues
(assuming she has even formulated them). Bush may trust her, but
I don't trust Bush.
As a case in point, noting her evangelical religion is not a positive. God does not decide cases. The law decides cases.
Miers may be a lot of things, but one of the top Constitutional lawyers and scholars in the nation is not one of them.
This entry was published Thu Oct 27 17:49:23 CDT 2005 by TriggerFinger
and last updated 2005-10-27 17:49:23.0.