Andrew Cohen on Miers:

CBS News Legal Affairs correspondent Andrew Cohen predicts a nasty confirmation battle for Miers. (HT: Jason Sorens in our Comments).

Cohen is precisely wrong.

Miers will sail through to confirmation. She already has the stamp of approval from Harry Reid and Ben Nelson, among Democrats. Reid isn't going to let her be filibustered when he himself recommended her to the White House. (And, really, how can Cohen write this article without even MENTIONING that Reid supports her?)

The only issue is whether she can be defeated by Republicans themselves, if they are unhappy enough with her obviously lacking credentials.
10.3.2005 6:56pm
Here's more evidence that Cohen is wrong, from Time magazine: "If there is a fight to be had, it will be from the right," says a Republican Senate aide. "The left has been disarmed."

One can't say with certainty that she'll sail through, of course: things come up from time to time - she may bungle the hearings or something. But if you look at the lack of outrage on the left - Harry Reid's happy and PFAW can't think of anything to say at all - one wonders where any opposition at all will come from? Will any Republican Senators have the guts to vote against her? I wish they would, but they won't.
10.3.2005 7:36pm
jgshapiro (mail):
This is a pretty nasty and presumptive article about a rather interesting dillema for both sides. She is less qualified than Gonzales (no Texas SC, no AG) but she doesn't have his record on torture -- or anything else. A vote to confirm is a vote that you trust Bush's judgment, but does either side really?

On the other hand, you have the practical realities. The only reason for the left to defeat her is out of fear of the unknown or to notch a defeat against Bush. But the likely outcome of that would be a subsequent nomination of someone like Owen or McConnell, not someone more moderate with a public record. They can't shoot down everyone Bush nominates: they don't have the votes and the public would not stand for it.

Even if the right rebels, will enough of them vote no to sink her nomination? That would weaken Bush and the Republicans for the next 3 years, not to mention in the 2006 elections.

Or would the right try to get her to withdraw? On what ground, that she is friends with the president and therefre a 'crony'? There is plenty of precedent for that, though not recently. She is no Brownie. On the ground that she has no judicial experience? What about Rehnquist, Powell, White, Jackson, Warren, Frankfurter, et. al.? The only real hope that she withdraws (absent a scandal yet to be uncovered) is if the ABA says that she is less than well qualified, but then conservatives would have to credit the evaluation of an organization they have shunned for the past 20 years.

I predict a lot of sound and fury, ultimately signifying nothing. She will be confirmed with votes to spare, but Bush will not get the lift from this nomination that he would have from someone more impressive.
10.3.2005 9:27pm
jgshapiro: I don't even think there will be too much sound and fury. She has no public record to be used against her, so, unless she is a complete idiot, the hearings are going to be even more boring than the Roberts hearings were. I mean, what exactly are the Democrats going to talk about? After you get past a couple of sentences regarding cronyism, all she needs to do is parrot exactly what Roberts said.

Again, when you've got Harry Reid in your corner, the Democrats are not going to do anything extraordinary.

Also, my hope was also on the ABA thing - but remember that she's been associated with various Bar Associations for a long time. Can we really expect that the ABA is going to turn around and stab her in the back now? I doubt it (even though I know these candidate qualification panels are somewhat apart from the day to day workings of the ABA). So that hope is likely dashed too.
10.3.2005 10:10pm
Phil (mail):
Miers cannot simply parrot Roberts, because she lacks the background. What she should probably do is paint herself as O'Connor light (or heavy, depending on your point of view). Because of the Dems affection for abortion rights (which puts Harry Reid in the odd position of describing those who are pro-life like him as extremist), they have been willing to ignore how O'Connor usually votes. For instance, there were 21 5-4 opinions last term, she voted with Thomas and Scalia in 16. That is not quite 80%, but if Scalia and Thomas really are extreme right wingers, this is a surprising amount of agreement. N.B. that in Raich (which was not 5-4), O'Connor accepted a more extreme states rights position than Scalia.
In other words, if the Democrats had a shred of principle, they would savage a candidate whose views were the same as O'Connor's.
That said, I am unsure whether Miers will be confirmed, or should be.
10.4.2005 8:38am