Miers withdraws...

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 philosophy?

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:
  1. 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. 
  2. Her only significant experience with Constitutional law consists of documents unquestionably protected by executive privilege.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. As a case in point, noting her evangelical religion is not a positive.  God does not decide cases.  The law decides cases. 
  8. 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. [Tweet]

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