Tuesday, October 11, 2005


My Thoughts On the Harriet Miers SCOTUS Nomination

In addition to other objections already raised against the nomination of Chief White House Counsel Harriet Miers to the U.S. Supreme Court (e.g. no one, including the President himself{1} knows squat about her, that she has no judicial experience, and there is no evidence that she has both the intellect and the will necessary to help move the Court in the direction it needs to go), I have a few additional takes of my own.

The first is an amplification of the lack of judicial experience issue. In response, defenders (all of which can hold a convention in a phone booth) will surely point to the fact that recently deceased Chief Justice William Rehnquist had no judicial experience prior to being nominated and subsequently seated on the High Court. I would say two things in response to that. One is, as Laura Ingraham points out, Rehnquist was a known expert on Constitutional law and his philosophy was long-known matter of public record when he was nominated. But we don’t know what, if any, expertise Miss Miers has in that regard.

The second (and I believe most important) point is that the times in which Rehnquist was nominated are different than our own. While the Court was full of (in Richard Nixon’s words) “senile old bastards” and “fools”, it was not at the critical crossroads that it is at now. There may be a time when it is a good idea to nominate a non-judge to the Court; but now is not the time.

Some have expressed shock at the lack of “faith” the conservative base has in Bush vis-à-vis this pick. After all, hasn’t this been the one area that Bush has been solid thus far? What about all the other good Federal Circuit and Appeals Court picks he has made? To this objection I would pose the following question: yes, they were good picks, but how much political capital did he invest in coming to their defense when the Senate Democrats torpedoed their nominations with the filibuster? Answer: none. They were all left basically twisting in the wind by both the Senate Republicans and the White House (Can anyone say Miguel Estrada? That poor guy was left hanging so long he got fed up with both the abuse and lack of support he withdrew his name from consideration. Now, if Bush wanted to go with a non-judge for a pick, Estrada would be the guy. But Estrada would probably refuse the nomination based on the previous experience of Bush and the Senate Republicans not supporting him when the confirmation process got ugly.)

This president’s unwillingness to go to bat for any of his nominees (except maybe Alberto Gonzalez for Attorney General. Can anyone say cronyism?) seems to be genetic. His father George H.W. Bush left Clarence Thomas to fend for himself. If Thomas hadn’t of taken matters into his own hands and took the fight to the gang-banging leftist thugs on the Senate Judiciary Committee, he would have met the same fate as Robert Bork.

So, I would say that conservative mistrust here is well-founded.

It is Bush’s over eagerness to back down from a political fight with the Democrats that lies at the heart of all this. Make no mistake about it boys and girls.

I don’t for a minute buy into the “It’s the weak-kneed Senate Republicans’ fault” defense. As president, he’s the leader of the Republican Party. If he wanted to, he could have twisted enough Republican arms to get them to fire up the Enola Gay and drop Little Boy on the filibuster rule. After all, he was able to twist enough Republican arms in the House and Senate to get them to pass that Ted Kennedy-authored sorry excuse for an education bill.

It would be great if we could change the direction of the courts in this country without a knock down, drag out fight. But the sad reality is we can’t.

By avoiding this necessary fight we just kick the can even further down the road…perhaps to 2006 when we hear those dreadful words Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

Need I say more?


{1} Now Bush claims he knows Miss Miers although he admits to not ever having one discussion with her regarding Roe v. Wade, the case that the battle for the Courts hinges on in large part. He also said he could read Vladimir Putin’s soul too. (Move over St. Padre Pio).


<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?