Thursday, October 06, 2005

Harriet Miers, a recommendation

I highly recommend Eriposte's excellent overview of Harriet Miers -- "Who is Harriet Miers?" -- at The Left Coaster. It's one of the highlights of the blogosphere's reaction to her nomination to the Supreme Court. In a separate post, Eriposte predicts that Miers will "withdraw herself from contention". A good prediction, if you ask me. There's no way she belongs on the Supreme Court, and she'll withdraw before she goes down to defeat.

See also this piece in the Post:

The conservative uprising against President Bush escalated yesterday as Republican activists angry over his nomination of White House counsel Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court confronted the president's envoys during a pair of tense closed-door meetings...

The tenor of the two meetings suggested that Bush has yet to rally his own party behind Miers and underscores that he risks the biggest rupture with the Republican base of his presidency. While conservatives at times have assailed some Bush policy decisions, rarely have they been so openly distrustful of the president himself.

Read on. The "rupture" is upon us.

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  • She may withdraw herself, we'll see.

    I'm not entirely sure this is a good thing. Miers is a bit of a blank opposed to someone like Rogers-Brown or Owen..who we know are rightwing conservative nutballs.

    The Reid factor in this is intriguing as well. Why did he recommend her?

    I don't think she should be dismissed so quickly.

    By Blogger carla, at 7:28 PM  

  • The problem is, it's inappropriate to nominate someone that has no record to evaluate. Fifty years ago--before the Court became SO politicized and social issues so important--it might have been fine. I'm all for broadening the pool of potential justices away from academia, in particular, but you can't nominate someone who is a complete blank slate.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:08 PM  

  • I agree, Carla, that she shouldn't be dismissed so easily. I certainly didn't mean to be so flippant about her nomination. I'm just so baffled (and insulted) by it. But it looks like the White House is beginning to play a game of polarization. Establishment conservatives like Will, Krauthammer, and Frum may be against her, and with good reason, but she's already playing well out in the conservative heartland. As you know, Dobson has expressed his support.

    Personally, I think Reid got it wrong. This is the case that Jason Zengerle makes at TNR (unfortunately, by subscription only, but I'll reference it in an upcoming post). Miers may not be a right-wing ideologue with a well-developed judicial philosophy, and that may be why Reid was on her side as a compromise candidate, but the White House is selling her as a devout fundamentalist who will push that political agenda on the Court. After all, the Dobson right is more concerned about activism than strict constructionism, and Miers may very well help out on the activist front (anti-abortion, anti-gay, etc.).

    It's true that if she withdraws Bush could nominate a "nutball," but at least that nominee would likely be a reputable choice with a proven track record. As it is, Miers has no place on the Court, and I agree with Marc's assessment.

    It will be tough for Democrats to stand firm againt Miers's lack of qualifications (it would be much easier to rally against ideology), but they should. It'll be interesting to see how Leahy, Schumer, Durbin, et al. handle the confirmation hearings. It'll also be interesting to see if conservatives like Brownback give in and support her.

    By Blogger Michael J.W. Stickings, at 4:46 PM  

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