Wednesday, October 05, 2005

More thoughts on Harriet Miers [link]

I have been an avid supporter and advocate for this President since the start of his administration. I worked with countless other people to support the Ashcroft nomination when it went through confirmation hearings and to support the President's judicial nominees. All of this work...and now I feel that the President has let all of us down.

I respect the opinion of Jay Sekulow and the other conservative activists who have worked with Ms. Miers and who support her nomination to the Supreme Court. It is possible that she will be a strong willed Associate Justice that will help move our country's legal system back into its proper role. But still, she does not appear to be the best person for the job.

This looks like a boon being given to a crony of the President. Is that what all of us worked so hard for? Did we struggle and sacrifice so that the President could put a friend and supporter on the High Court?

George Will has an interesting column about the Miers nomination:

The most compelling statement in this column is: "[T]here is no evidence that she is among the leading lights of American jurisprudence, or that she possesses talents commensurate with the Supreme Court's tasks. " I agree completely.

I do not agree with much of the rest of Mr. Will's what if the President is playing politics. It's Washington, DC...the President would be committing executive branch malpractice if he was not playing politics. Will claims that the President forfeited his right to be considered a "custodian of the Constitution" because he signed the McCain-Feingold Campaign Finance Reform Bill into law. I worked long and hard in opposition to campaign finance reform and I was disappointed when the President signed the McCain-Feingold into law...but I understood why he did it.

I believe that the Dems will be less than thrilled once Ms. Miers becomes fully active on the Court. But I am less comfortable than I would have been if it had been Luttig or one of the other first-rate conservative contenders who had been nominated.

Here is another column out today that has words of wisdom in it: by William J. Stuntz in New Republic Online.

"We have seen this kind of presidential appointment pattern before, in Harry Truman's White House. Truman's list of Supreme Court nominees looks like a reading list for Mediocrity 101: Harold Burton, Fred Vinson, Tom Clark, and Sherman Minton. All but Clark were buddies from Truman's Capitol Hill days--classic Miers-like picks. But Truman had his Roberts moments as well. Along with forgettable hacks like John Snyder and J. Howard McGrath, his Cabinet included giants like George Marshall and Dean Acheson, wise men who crafted the policies that won the Cold War.

That strange combination flows naturally from the Truman characteristic that history so admires, the one that his contemporaries found so frustrating: his decisiveness. Truman didn't believe in deferring to experts; as the sign on his desk said, the buck stopped with him. Though an ex-senator, he had a very un-legislative disdain for decision-making procedure. Mostly, he just called 'em as he saw 'em, with little reflection and no second-guessing. "

That matches my opinion of President Bush. Like it or not, he is decisive. For what it's worth, I am not a big fan of Harry Truman; I find the modern day worship of Truman to be based more on myth than on reality.


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