Monday, October 03, 2005

About Harriet Miers

Reference material: Bush 41's nomination speech for Justice David Souter; Bush 43's nomination speech for Harriet Miers.

Okay, let's be straightforward here: Miers was not on the short list of most conservative pundits for the vacant spot on the Supreme Court. Her lack of judicial record is worrisome, to say the least. Her close ties to Pres. Bush make this nomination seem. . .I don't know the exact right word for here, but I'm going to go with "funny".

But for that same reason, I think the President should get a little benefit of the doubt here. Above I highlight the nomination speeches of the two Bushes in nominating their "stealth" picks for the Supreme Court: Bush I for Souter (who I don't really need to tell you turned out to be a nightmare for conservatives) and Bush II's speech today. Note the stark differences between father Bush's knowledge of Souter and the current President's knowledge of Miers. Bush the elder admitted to having barely spent any time whatsoever with Souter, and pledged a certain degree ("total" is a degree, after all) of ignorance as to how the man had previously viewed hot-button topics such as abortion and civil rights, affirmative action and free speech. Bush Jr has known Miers for 10 years, and for 5 of those she has worked in the White House in three different capacities. While I doubt that Bush 41 was as clueless as he let on about Souter, I am willing to bet that the current President knows Miers far better than his father knew Souter.

Granted, that's no guarantee that Miers is going to be everything conservatives hope this spot on the SCOTUS turns out to represent. But I am willing to keep an open mind for now and let Miers' testimony try to win me over. While there are large segments of the President's policies that I am not in total agreement with, the types of issues that the Supreme Court decides happen to be issues on which I largely agree with the President. I can't imagine Bush would set this spot up for a disappointment in the same ilk as Souter.

But we'll just have to see. I am interested to know a couple of things, though (both questions spring from this article, the accuracy of which I cannot verify at this time. It is not a site I normally use in research): a) What is it about Miers that had her on the Dems' list of acceptable nominees?; and b) IF Miers was put in charge of the "action" team that was tasked with recommendations for the vacancy on the SCOTUS, were proper safeguards installed by the other team members to ensure that Miers has the background that will stand up to the questioning of the Judicial committees? While this pick might not sit well with the base (for now), if it turns out that she wasn't fully investigated by the team that she led, that would be disastrous for the White House.

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