A Thought on the Harriett Miers Debate:
Looking around the blogosphere, I'm struck by how many of the arguments made for and against the nomination of Harriet Miers have nothing to do with Miers and everything to do with who else seems to support or oppose Miers. This isn't necessarily an irrational position, at least in most cases. When you have limited information, it often makes sense to use the views of others as proxies. But both Republicans and Democrats appear pretty evenly split on the Miers nomination, which means that a series of plausible arguments of this type exists to justify either position from either political perspective.

  The arguments seem to run like this:

  If you're right of center and support the nomination: You should approve of the Miers nomination because 1) the President has picked Miers, and you can trust him; 2) several prominent conservatives like James Dobson and Leonard Leo support the nomination, and they must know something you don't; and 3) the loudest conservative critics of the Miers nominations are the annoying ivory tower elites, and if they don't like her it's probably a sign that you should.

  If you're right of center and oppose the nomination: You should oppose Miers because 1) Democrats like Harry Reid recommended her to Bush, and seem to be pretty happy with the choice; 2) the Alliance for Justice and PFAW haven't attacked Miers; and 3) lots of solid conservatives are upset about the Miers nomination.

  If you're left of center and support the nominaton: You should support the nomination because 1) Democrats like Harry Reid recommended her, and seem to be pretty happy with the pick; 2) many conservative activists oppose it, and that's probably a sign that Miers is as good as it gets.

  Finally, if you're left of center and oppose the nomination: You should oppose the nomination because 1) George W. Bush picked Miers, and having promised another Scalia or Thomas he surely will deliver; 2) prominent conservatives like James Dobson and Leonard Leo are in favor of the nomination, and their enthusiasm means that Miers must be bad news.

  Something for everyone, it seems.
The one group you're leaving out is the "ivy tower" conservatives like your colleagues who oppose the nomination because Miers pretty clearly lacks a highly developed conservative judicial philosophy.
10.7.2005 11:31am
Dimitri (mail):
Sorry Orin,

you forgot: oppose (right or left) - President's crony


right of center, oppose - maybe she'll vote "right", but her opinions will lack the reasoning necessary to shift the Court's jurisprudence to the right; will have to heavily rely on clerks - see Blackmun, H; there were many better qualified conservatives out there; have foregone an opportunity to have a public debate during confirmation about state of jurisprudence today.
10.7.2005 11:36am
Anonymous Jim (mail):
The scariest argument out there for me is Dobson and others "must know something you don't". Shouldn't they be subpoenaed to testify? If Clinton had nominated a "blank slate" stealth nominee and the president of NOW or PFAW had come out and said "there are things I can't tell you, but this is a good nominee", what would the reaction be?
10.7.2005 11:44am
SimonD (www):
10.7.2005 11:50am
SimonD (www):
Dobson is hedging his support:
On his radio broadcast Wednesday, Dobson said he prayed he was not making a mistake..."If I have made a mistake here, I will never forget it. The blood of those babies who will die will be on my hands to a degree," Dobson said.
10.7.2005 11:53am
Jim, if Dobson actually said something like that maybe he should be called to testify, but he didn't. Putting words in someone's mouth and then demanding they explain themselves doesn't get you anywhere.

I'm on the right and I'm tenatively for Miers. The simple reason is that George Bush has not made a single mistake in any nominee for any court that I've seen yet. He only has 4 1/2 years of appointments but I have heard of one outrageous decision yet by any of his appointments. And by outrageous I mean either to the left or the right. But I have to say the Warren Burger comment has shaken me like nothing I've heard yet.

I'm not worried about the cronyism issue, so what if the President has one sure vote on issues that affect him, he still needs another 4. Now if he gets 4 picks and chooses 4 cronies, I'd be concerned. An 8-1 decision when he is clearly wrong doesn't help him much. I don't doubt that Miers is personally devoted to the President and won't do anything to embarrass him, but Bush is going to be in Washington only 3 1/2 more years, what happens then? Will she drift back to her previous views?
10.7.2005 12:12pm
Richard Bellamy (mail):
Of course, no one on either side is asking the question that we should all be asking:

"Would the terrorists want us to confirm her?"

Or, alternately, "If we confirm/don't confirm her, have the terrorists won?"
10.7.2005 12:12pm
Positive Dennis:
I really do not want a "conservative" nominee. I want a strict constructionist nominee that may rule "liberal" (States rights to allow Marijuana) and then "conservative" (allow states to have anti-sodomy laws). I too fear her civil liberty views.

Positive Dennis
10.7.2005 12:17pm
Toral (mail):
There are many conservatives who have no interest or expertise in legal issues. They have to rely on someone's opinion. Legal conservatives who do have such expertise, and who are very heavily against Miers, were hoping perhaps that such conservatives would look to them for signals, perhaps even defer to their opinion. That's not happening, or at least is being very successfully countered by "trust Bush" sentiment. That is discouraging to legal conservatives who fully recognize that they are in a political coalition -- a place where people who are indifferent to or not knowledgeable about some issues usually go along with the segment of the coalition which is knowledgeable and passionnate.
10.7.2005 12:18pm
Bezuhov (mail):
"That is discouraging to legal conservatives who fully recognize that they are in a political coalition -- a place where people who are indifferent to or not knowledgeable about some issues usually go along with the segment of the coalition which is knowledgeable and passionnate."

Well said and a valid point. But what about those who are conservative largely out a concern for the culture's penchant to be too reliant on experts?
10.7.2005 12:24pm
Joel B. (mail):
United not a divider I guess No? Heh
10.7.2005 12:25pm
I haven't seen anyone yet make the case that Miers should be opposed because 1) Senator Reid supports her and/or 2) Liberal activist groups have yet to vehemently oppose her.

I'd be interested to read some of the commentators who've made the argument from this position if you have some links available.
10.7.2005 12:27pm
Anonymous Jim (mail):

" 'When you know some of the things I know - that I probably shouldn't know - that take me in this direction, you'll know why I've said with fear and trepidation (that) I believe Harriet Miers will be a good justice,' Dobson said in a broadcast with co-host John Fuller."

Rocky Mountain News

Was I putting words in his mouth? (Of course his use of the word "when" suggests that the information will be made public, the only question is when that information is made public.)
10.7.2005 12:29pm
Jim Hu:
The other group you left out is: neither support nor oppose (yet) and can't understand how people can draw such strong conclusions based on so little data.
10.7.2005 12:42pm
Shelby (mail):
Jim Hu:

Presumably your proposed group excludes those who draw strong conclusions based on the fact that there is so little data.

I'd add "If you're neither left nor right of center, you should [oppose/support] her because she is [grossly underqualified/untainted by prior thought about Supreme Court jurisprudence]."
10.7.2005 12:52pm
The General:
You forgot to list the biggest reason conservatives don't like Miers. SHE ISN'T QUALIFIED FOR SCOTUS! Her resume is weak and she lacks any type of paper trail demonstrating brilliance in constitutional law (except apparently the Habitation Clause of the 12th Amendment). Qualifications are very important. If she had them, we wouldn't have to get "reassurances" from people who know people who know people who know the president who knows Miers. It isn't about who you know, it is about what you know.
10.7.2005 12:55pm
Thorley Winston (mail) (www):
I haven't seen anyone yet make the case that Miers should be opposed because 1) Senator Reid supports her and/or 2) Liberal activist groups have yet to vehemently oppose her.

I think that's largely because (1) it seems that Senator Reid may have outsmarted himself by "recommending" a nominee he was sure the President wouldn't send and (2) just as we saw earlier when 160 hard left law professors announced their opposition to Judge Roberts before the hearings based largely on the briefs he wrote for clients, there is no doubt that leftist activist groups will oppose Miers just as they would any other SCOTUS nominee sent by this president.

Me, I'm not sure yet whether to support her or not. I figure that waiting to see how well she does during the Committee hearings is going to be far more useful than trying to parse the few scraps of information that are out there.
10.7.2005 1:04pm
the snob (mail) (www):

Bezhukov: Well said and a valid point. But what about those who are conservative largely out a concern for the culture's penchant to be too reliant on experts?

I doubt many conservatives worry about this as regards airline pilots or surgeons. Schoolteachers however are another matter, not because expertise in schoolteachers is a bad thing, but because "expertise" has come to mean union hackery.
10.7.2005 1:06pm
uh clem (mail):
I can't speak for the left as a whole, but my take on Meiers is that her nomination is like going to a restaurant and being served a bucket of warm spit. Certainly not at all appetizing, but if I send it back to the kitchen I'll most likely be forced to eat something far worse.

So.... Bon Apetite!
10.7.2005 1:22pm
Jim Hu:

Yes, you are correct. I think Dmitri covered the group you are referring to much earlier in the thread. Note that there is a gradient between my group and his. It's possible to consider the lack of a public record to be part of the existing data and to hold open the possibility that additional data could change your mind (my group). It's also perfectly legit to conclude that no additional data could change your mind (Dmitri's group), or even to conclude that while additional data could change your mind in theory, the probabilty that this could happen is vanishingly small and so it's not worth worrying about...the difference between beyond all doubt and beyond a reasonable doubt.

What strikes me about Orin's post however, is that he considers any of the arguments made by his groups to be plausible at all. I consider the position that we already know that she's unqualified to be plausible and I consider the position that she might be qualified to be plausible. Emphasis on "might". But the four arguments Orin refers to are all kinda dumb IMHO. But then IANAL...and I'm not sure that Orin was really saying these are good arguments.
10.7.2005 1:31pm
aslanfan (mail):
I have no firm opinion yet on whether she is unqualified, but isn't it clear that she is among the least qualified SCOTUS nominees in the last 50 years (or more)? Have there been any with less impressive credentials?
10.7.2005 1:37pm
Anthony (mail):
A lot of support or opposition to her seems to be based on how people think she'll rule on Roe v Wade. Conservatives who support her so far seem to mostly be people who want a Justice who will overrule Roe above all else, and who think that she'll be a vote to overrule Roe, while liberals who oppose her seem to be mostly people who want to preserve Roe at all costs, and think that she'll be a vote to overrule Roe.

I've seen people (sorry, no links) cite Reid's support as a factor in their own support. Conservatives have speculated that Reid is an abortion moderate or weakly pro-life, and that he's supporting Meirs because she's likely to limit abortion while on the court.
10.7.2005 1:41pm
LiquidLatex (mail):
Two wrongs don't make a right - for the unqualified appeaser crowd. Just because 30+ other Justices were also poorly qualified does not mean Miers gets a pass on her record. Damn the previous Congresses for their negligence.

Miers has much more going against her just on an individual basis. Once you compare her to other possible picks it becomes overwhelmingly clear she is among the worst to nominate. I would take a Living Documentist over her just to know what the hell I was getting in the first place, and I hate "Living Document" people.
10.7.2005 1:42pm
Ron Collins (mail) (www):
There is also this, albeit esoteric/subliminal, possibility: She was thinking of WARREN Harding, who nominated Sutherland, Butler & Sanford to the Court -- three Justices with traditional conservative credentials.
10.7.2005 2:11pm
Been There, Done That:
Would you suffer the chance of a living documentarian, a Justice Chemerinsky or Justice Mary Matsuda, in a Democratic administration, if it meant we could get Jusict Kazinski and Justice Barnett in a Republican administration?

If you believe in the power of your ideas to convince people, and the effectiveness of your leadership -- then whatever your ideological leanings, left or right, you'd take such a universe.

Both parties -- but largely the Republicans -- have contributed to a political culture that rewards blandness, lack of thought, sound bites, and the like. Miers is the apotheosis of this trend.

Can we not agree that as brilliant as she may be, Miers is less brilliant for having failed to engage in the world of ideas?
10.7.2005 2:23pm
Calvin Massey:
Re: aslanfan Here are some very marginally qualified nominees during the past 50 years: Charles Whittaker, Harold Carswell, Homer Thornberry (but all of these were at least sitting federal judges).
10.7.2005 2:29pm
Thorley Winston (mail) (www):

Can we not agree that as brilliant as she may be, Miers is less brilliant for having failed to engage in the world of ideas?

That depends on whether we can also agree that those commentators, professors, and justices without her 30 years of actually practicing law and running a major law firm are less competent for having failed to engage in the real world of practicing law rather than merely commenting on it.
10.7.2005 2:30pm
Daniel Chapman (mail):
As a member of the "right-of-center" group, I've been worried all week that Bush let his familiarity cloud his judgment. So far I havn't been reassured. I really won't feel comfortable until I am convinced that she really is worthy of the pick, and not just chosen because Bush thinks he can trust her to vote the way he wants.

I guess I'll wait for the hearings... if she can't handle herself against the senators, I can't believe she can make a convincing argument to the other Justices.
10.7.2005 2:36pm
Doug Sundseth (mail):
@ aslanfan: "I have no firm opinion yet on whether she is unqualified, but isn't it clear that she is among the least qualified SCOTUS nominees in the last 50 years (or more)?"

If you change "least qualified" to "least credentialed", I think there would be little argument. The question, then, is how strong the correlation between credentials and qualifications. The terms aren't interchangeable.

FWIW, at this point I have no strong opinion on Miers either. It's really too bad that the Judiciary Committee is so disfunctional; a functional committee might actually be able to investigate her qualifications. I have no faith that will happen.
10.7.2005 2:39pm
Since when does Right of Center == Cares what James Dobson thinks? IMHO, Dobson is more "Right of Attila the Hun" than Right of Center. I am right of center, but I find James Dobson's support a reason to oppose her. There is something wrong when all the principled, constiution-respecting conservatives oppose a nominee but one evangelist who thinks he owns the republican party supports her.
10.7.2005 2:44pm
Harlan Fan:

I'm curious as to what you think about what your colleague Susan Karamanian (a former colleague of Miers' at her firm in Dallas) has said of the nomination. My experience w/ Dean Karamanian is that she leans strongly left of center, but she called Miers a "wonderful appointment." Is she simply a crony of the crony and thus an apologist? Or do you think she is being genuine?
10.7.2005 2:46pm
Been There, Done That:
Thorley Winston

As a practicing lawyer, I whole heartedly agree that a lack of trial experience leads to horrendous judging, especially on procedural matters. But this is also true of many district court judges who lack sufficient trial experience.

The Supreme Court is unlikely to deal with too many discovery, evidentiary and scheduling disputes. They already delegate much of the rule making, if not virtually all of it.

I'm not generally impressed with the practice of "major law firms," and credit Miers for having run something much smaller.

However, she is basically undistinguished save for her personal relationship with the President and demonstrates zero history of thinking critically about precisely those matters which are the business of the Supreme Court.
10.7.2005 2:47pm
SimonD (www):
I keep seeing this statement that she ran a firm of 400 lawyers. What does that actually mean, in practical terms, and in terms of its relevance to the SCOTUS appointment? Boy, she's been a CEO! She's managed people! If that's some sort of qualification, we should nominate Bill Gates, then, right?
10.7.2005 2:50pm
Daniel Chapman (mail):
"IMHO, Dobson is more 'Right of Attila the Hun' than Right of Center"

Just out of curiosity, what were Atilla the Hun's thoughts on abortion, affirmative action, or entitlement programs? :)
10.7.2005 2:56pm
SimonD (www):
Regarding the "lack of experience in the trenches" of Justices - don't you think that could be a good thing, thoough? Justices shouldn't be afraid to make the correct ruling because of the practical ramifications. Look at Blakely; I have no reason to believe that O'Connor and Kennedy were wrong about the effect of the ruling, but my point would be that the majority was absolutely correct, and the majority opinion paid absolutely as much concern as it should have to the potential ramifications, which is to zay, zero.
10.7.2005 2:56pm
SimonD (www):
I forgot to add to the end of my last post, that a person who has dealt with life in the trenches may well feel more pressure to inappropriately consider the practical ramifications, and to possibly vote the wrong way out of concern for the effects of the ruling rather than voting the right way on the merits and legalities of the case.
10.7.2005 2:58pm
A F -- a different one:
Less qualifications. I stand by my position that if we look beyond what school they attended, Meirs qualifications easily stand up against some very recent justices -- Rehnquist, O'Connor, Thomas, Stevens. Note that two of those are reliable conservatives, and only Scalia who is not on the list really satisfies the results-oriented experience complainers. Rehnquist and Thomas, on the other hand, without a doubt were less qualified than Meirs is now. I also suggest that with the exception of Scalia and Ginsberg, none of the current justices provided much of a clue as to how they'd turn out on constitutional theory prior to their appointment. If you have contrary evidence, please advise.

Rehnquist had no judicial experience, had practiced law in Arizona for 17 years, and had a 2 1/2 year stint runnign OLC (a slot that is comprable, at best, to being white house counsel).

Thomas had a career consisting of a brief stint in a state AG's office, in house counsel for two years, and various not-so-important positions in the Reagan/Bush administrations (EEOC chair being the highest). He was an appellate judge for all of one year.

O'Connor: state AG's office, two terms in the state senate, intermediate court of appeals slot (for just 2 years). Nothing stands out there.

Stevens: He was essentially an antitrust lawyer, mostly in private practice, for his entire early career, until 1970, when he was appointed to the court of appeals. He spent 5 years on that court.
10.7.2005 3:00pm
SimonD (www):
Re Thomas: had Thomas not made public speeches in favor of originalism and been a Judge for a year? Was his nomination really predicated on nothing more than Bush 41 saying "trust me, he's a Christian and he's not a white male?"
10.7.2005 3:19pm
Shelby (mail):
A F -- ado:

All the sitting justices you describe, even if I rely on just your descriptions rather than their full biographies, were (when nominated) significantly more qualified than Miers. She has NEVER been a judge, NEVER run a federal office involving extensive litigation (such as EEOC), NEVER held public office requiring legal skills (such as state AG). Even Rehnquist's background is, using your description, at least somewhat more appropriate for the Supreme Court.
10.7.2005 3:21pm
vepxistqaosani (mail) (www):
Harriet Miers and the fear of public humiliation

Most of us avoid getting ourselves into situations which guarantee humiliation. I, for instance, don't sing Nessun Dorma in public. Similarly, I wouldn't argue constitutional law with Antonin Scalia.

Surely Harriet Miers is smart enough to know that, if she be truly as poorly qualified as some opponents allege, then she is facing years of very public embarrassment.

Even were I W's closest buddy, I would not accept a nomination to the Supreme Court unless I were quite confident that I could hold my own (or better).

I suppose it's possible that Ms. Miers is much stupider (or more deluded) than I -- but is it really likely?
10.7.2005 3:21pm
Daniel Chapman (mail):
That was probably the most biting criticism I've heard yet. I'd be more concerned that she'd find herself humbled the first time she sat down in the back room and duked it out over a contentious issue and from then on decided to keep her head down.

Despite my own reservations, I think that from her perspective, the best hint that she's up to the task is that SHE GOT NOMINATED. If she decided to step down for whatever reason, I would understand why, but I wouldn't call it delusional to want to follow through. I wouldn't say she's "much stupider" than you either.
10.7.2005 3:27pm
SimonD (www):
vepxistqaosani - if your theory held any water, why would Bush routinely continue to try (and fail) to read an autocue on national television while sounding sincere?
10.7.2005 3:27pm
Amy Zon:
What is somewhat disturbing is the lack of paper trail. Law school grads know the importance of having a good writing sample. It's hard to someone can be considered for the Court when the bulk of her work is covered by executive privilege. This would be the equivalent of the law student going into interviews with nothing but references.

While no one is doubting that having the President as a reference is very impressive, the paper trail is essential. Without it, you have nothing to rely on but someone's word. An that word, even if coming from a President, should not be solely relied upon.
10.7.2005 3:56pm
It is easy to avoid public humiliation for a sitting Supreme Court Justice. Simply remain entirely silent during oral argument.
10.7.2005 3:59pm
M. Simon (mail) (www):
You left out the folks who want to dump Miers for JR Brown.

Folks who think the President is indeed smart and hope Miers nomination will fail, setting up a sure shot for JR Brown.
10.7.2005 4:15pm
Harlan Fan:
M. Simon:

Does anyone seriously think that Bush would intentionally subject one of his closest friends and advisers to a doomed confirmation process just to set up JRB; and, further, that JRB would be a "sure shot" even if nominated? It sounds rather naive to me.

If this is truly "strategery" and not "I found the most qualified candidate out there," it more likely goes something like this: Bush understands the Supreme Court is relatively unimportant compared to the rest of his hefty agenda (Social Security and tax code reform). The only area of the law where the Court might impact his legacy (remember - overturning Roe is the last thing Rove and Co. want to see) is the War on Terror. So Bush puts in the nominee who is most likely to vote for him in those cases and will probably garner enough Dem support to get confirmed, and he saves what little political capital he has left after Iraq, Katrina, et al, for the really important fights.

This is a very Rove-like move.
10.7.2005 4:28pm
E S Cioe (mail) (www):
Gunner -

If you are refering to Thomas, you are dead wrong. A year ago I would've agreed with you, but in a year, I've grown up a lot. He listens (and even sleeps) in oral arguments, something that until Thurgood Marshall and to a greater degree Scalia was considered orthodoxy. There are plenty of stories on the table abotu Holmes sleeping through argument, but no one argues with that.

I was a skeptic until I listened to argument in Nixon v. Srink Missouri Government PAC, where Thomas interupted one of his colleagues' toying around with the lawyer right at the end of argument and dropped a bomb of a question that was met with at least five seconds of silence. Thomas is a lot better a justice than people give him credit for.
10.7.2005 4:29pm
Nat Echols (mail):
I have a completely different reason for opposing Miers than everyone else, it seems. I think she was nominated because it's expected that she'll be completely deferential to the executive branch and will rule in favor of expanded extra-constitutional wartime powers. I don't see gutting separation of powers altogether as an appropriate response to judicial activism. It's been suggested that judges like JRB wouldn't get the nomination, because they might be inclined to actually follow the Constitution - I'll be Bush is still stinging from Scalia's opinion in Hamdi.

FWIW, I'm moderately anti-abortion, so I don't really care if Miers would overturn Roe. I doubt Bush would appoint anyone who wasn't of the same mindset.
10.7.2005 4:39pm
SimonD (www):
E S Cioe-
Thomas is a lot better a justice than people give him credit for.
I'm only quoteing the money line, but thankyou - good to see someone else standing up against this trite nonsense about Thomas.
10.7.2005 4:47pm
David Maquera (mail) (www):
I guess any lawyer is qualified to serve on SCOTUS if s/he is a good enough arse kisser to get elected as head of the local bar association and appointed as a Presidential crony.
10.7.2005 4:53pm
Shelby (mail):
Nat Echols:

The reason you advance for opposing her hasn't been getting a lot of attention, but it's one of my reasons and I've seen a few other people mention it.
10.7.2005 4:58pm
Adam (mail) (www):
Finally, if you're left of center and oppose the nomination how about, because, "some of us are principled to care more about qualifications than results."
10.7.2005 5:29pm
Jason Sorens (www):
Shelby & Nat Echols:

Your concerns are well justified, especially given the content of the White House conference call to conservative activists about Miers (mp3 link here).

See Sally Greene's commentary here.
10.7.2005 5:31pm
Unnamed Co-Conspirator:
How about right of center, opposing Miers' confirmation because the President is confident that she shares his "judicial philosophy"? This is the president who signed McCain-Feingold, and whose SG argued in favor of affirmative action in Grutter v. Bollinger, in which O'Connor gave us the upside-down and circular version of the Equal Protection Clause in which racial classifications may be used to achieve racial diversity, which is now a compelling state interest for purposes of EPC analysis.

The fact that people like Dobson expect the new justice to "protect the unborn" just tells me that conservatives have made a big mistake in getting the evangelicals involved in the judiciary issue. They're no better than NARAL -- both want their preferred result, reasoning and faithfulness to the Constitution be damned.
10.7.2005 5:35pm
Shelby (mail):

Fair enough, and I can't say I agree with Bush's "judicial philosophy," which by now I consider imaginary anyway.

But we're not likely to see any nominees whose judicial philosophy Bush disagrees with, so that's just grounds for blocking all of them. Plausible, but not very useful.
10.7.2005 6:37pm
Ray (mail):
It is entirely possible there are already too many lawyers on the Supreme Court. While the common man wants "the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth," lawyers appear content with being legally accurate without volunteering information. Lawyers can spend a lifetime advocating for a cause and end up far from impartial. Lawyers frequently promote the rights of the violent and risk the safety of victims. Judges, drawn from lawyers, have behaved like a privileged class using elaborate procedures and legal precedents to suppress truth from juries of ordinary men and women.
It would be virtually impossible to place an ordinary person on the Supreme Court today, even though there is no prohibition in the Constitution. Elitists would never allow this. It is a bold move for the President to bypass "predictable" judges from a conservative short list and nominate a "stealth" candidate with no written record to attack or defend. Such a person might just hear each case on its own merits, without any preconceived agenda.
By most accounts, Harriet Miers will follow the Constitution and not legislate from the bench. If this is accurate, she will not look for foreign documents for guidance to reject the Constitution, which opens with "We the people of the United States of America." For a nation of ordinary people, how bad can that be?
10.7.2005 7:07pm
Matthew22v21 (mail):
"Does anyone seriously think that Bush would intentionally subject one of his closest friends and advisers to a doomed confirmation process..."

Absolutely. Bush doesn't have any friends. He has employees. Some of whom he's more friendly to than others, but that ain't the same thing.

Seriously... Where is the Bebe Rebozo of this Administration? Where is the Walter Annenberg or Paul Laxalt?
10.7.2005 7:33pm
Shelby (mail):
By most accounts, Harriet Miers will follow the Constitution and not legislate from the bench.

What accounts are you relying on here? All I can find are Bush and a few other associates of Miers saying "because I say so." That's mighty thin accounting.
10.7.2005 8:42pm
TomFromMD (mail):
"I stand by my position that if we look beyond what school they attended, Meirs qualifications easily stand up against some very recent justices — Rehnquist, O'Connor, Thomas, Stevens.


O'Connor: state AG's office, two terms in the state senate, intermediate court of appeals slot (for just 2 years). Nothing stands out there.

O'Connor was also a County judge for four years, which gives us . . . (drum roll, please) six years more than Meirs. That stands out to me. What also stands out is the immense difference in becoming a lawyer in the early 50's and becoming a lawyer in the 1970. O'Conner had to fight a hell of a lot harder.
10.7.2005 8:50pm