Wednesday, October 5, 2005


A fair about of disappointment from conservatives on Bush's pick for the Supreme Court, Harriet Miers. I'll post more later since I have to run, but here are a bunch of links:

"Disappointed, Depressed and Demoralized" by Bill Kristol

"Miers is the wrong pick" by George Will

"Don't misunderestimate Miers"
from The American Thinker's Thomas Lifson

"Intellectual decay" from The American Thinker

UPDATE: Okay, I'm back in front of my desk and I have say that I too am disappointed in this pick by President Bush and whoever else on his staff that pushed for Miers. It was an easy pick probably to ensure a conservative, pro-life justice for years to come, but life isn't about the easy choices nor was this a politically wise choice. This was a decision with far greater importance. This was to decide on who would be a guardian and interpreter of our great constitution, and I believe an essential qualification is to have a proven legal mind that reflects this ability. The person doesn't have to be a judge, but at least someone with literature to support their capabilities. George Will and J. Peter Mulhern's excellent article (The American Thinker) state this well:

Furthermore, there is no reason to believe that Miers' nomination resulted from the president's careful consultation with people capable of such judgments. If 100 such people had been asked to list 100 individuals who have given evidence of the reflectiveness and excellence requisite in a justice, Miers' name probably would not have appeared in any of the 10,000 places on those lists. (full post)

Our intellectual infrastructure is badly decayed and Supreme Court Justices have an important role to play in overhauling it. To play that role we need justices capable of a profound impact on the law and on the culture of which the law is part. When George W. Bush promised to look for justices like Clarence Thomas and Antonin Scalia, most conservatives understood him to mean that he would look for greatness. Harriet Miers might become a great justice, but no serious person will claim that it’s likely. Madam Justice Miers may well be a nightmare for the abortion boosters and the racial grievance mongers. It doesn’t follow that she is the answer to conservatives’ dreams.

The nominee we need wouldn’t necessarily have a degree from the Harvard Law School. In fact, one of the strongest arguments in favor of the President’s second Supreme Court nominee is that she has never been polluted by that institution or any other elite cesspool. Conservatives have long and bitter experience with the effect of Ivy League intellectual pretensions on jurists with second and third rate minds (Justices Kennedy and Souter leap to mind.) The problem isn’t that Harriet Miers, like Justice Jackson before her, lacks a prestigious educational background. The problem is that nothing in her life story even hints that she might have the right stuff to be an important intellectual leader.

Graduating from law school, working as a commercial litigator in a large firm, rising to become the managing partner of that firm, dabbling in local and ABA politics, and signing on with a rising politician to do spade work, are all pretty pedestrian achievements. Those of us who have been around the law a bit know any number of people with similar background and know that many of them shouldn’t be trusted to shine shoes. If Harriet Miers turns out to have the stuff of greatness it will be the biggest surprise since Ulysses S. Grant turned out to be the right general to win the Civil War, and Grant didn’t start at the top.

Conservatives feel betrayed and they should. They have been betrayed. We were promised that W would add some serious conservative firepower to the Supreme Court. He had the chance and he chose to reward a loyal friend instead. Time and some good results may take away most of the sting. But conservatives won’t soon forget that when crunch time came President Bush treated a Supreme Court appointment like a garden variety patronage job.
(full post)

MORE comments and links from Power Line.

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