Harriett Miers?:
I don't know much about Harriett Miers, but I thought I would blog a few tentative reactions to her nomination.

  First, I am quite puzzled by President Bush's choice. According to news reports, Bush had instructed his staff to "find another Roberts." But Miers seems to be the anti-Roberts. As far as I can tell, she has no particular experience or expertise in any areas of law that the Supreme Court is likely to consider in the next twenty years; she has no history of having thought deeply about the role of judges in a constitutional democracy; and she is a complete unknown among the parts of the DC legal community that will now be considering her candidacy for the Supreme Court.

  Of course, this doesn't mean that Miers can't be an excellent Supreme Court Justice. She had a reputation in Texas as a very good and very principled lawyer. And it's also true that never having been a judge isn't disqualifying: William Rehnquist had never been a judge before being confirmed to the Court in 1972. But Rehnquist was a bit different. While he hadn't served as a judge, Rehnquist had considerable experience with the issues that came before the Supreme Court prior to his nomination to be a Justice. Rehnquist was the head of DOJ's Office of Legal Counsel at the time of his nomination, and was himself a former law clerk to Justice Jackson.

  Another thought is that, if Miers is confirmed, it seems quite possible that the effect of George W. Bush's two Supreme Court picks will be to retain the basic balance of the Supreme Court. Despite all the hullaballoo about the Court shifting to the right, the basic direction of the Court may remain "as is." It's hard to predict this, of course, as I have no idea how Miers would vote. But it seems plausible to me that Roberts will be a slightly more liberal version of Rehnquist, and Miers will be (if confirmed) a slightly more conservative version of O'Connor. The net result would be little change in the basic direction of the Court.

  In any event, all of this is very tentative. I don't know much about Harriett Miers, so I'll be learning more about her over the next few days just like everyone else.