Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Miers Backlash-Day Two

Today featured, I think, the most damning criticism of Bush's choice for the Supreme Court-Harriet Miers. Today's column from George Will really rips into the administration, and more specifically, President Bush. To date, I think it might be the best overall criticism. While I will reseve final judgement until AFTER the committee hearings, I must say that I am disappointed in his choice.

Here are just two of the better excerpts:
Furthermore, there is no reason to believe that Miers' nomination resulted from
the president's careful consultation with people capable of such judgments. If
100 such people had been asked to list 100 individuals who have given evidence
of the reflectiveness and excellence requisite in a justice, Miers' name
probably would not have appeared in any of the 10,000 places on those lists.

Ouch. I have to say, Will's point is probably very true. How many lawyers are there in this country with similar legal credentials to Miers? I dare say thousands.
In addition, the president has forfeited his right to be trusted as a custodian
of the Constitution. The forfeiture occurred March 27, 2002, when, in a private
act betokening an uneasy conscience, he signed the McCain-Feingold law expanding
government regulation of the timing, quantity and content of political speech.

Double Ouch. Again, Will is largely correct. How can a President of the United States sign a bill that he thinks is unconstitutional?

The folks over at the Corner have been conducting quite a debate over the pick themselves. Jonah Goldberg in particular, criticized the idea of Miers as a 'reliable vote' on the court. Which as he says really runs counter to the principle of the Supreme Court. It appears that in no shape or form will Miers be an intellectual leader for the court, one to help steer opinions along with the heavyweights of Scalia and Roberts.

For myself, a choice such as Judges Michael Luttig or Michael McConnell would have been perfect choices. Both have the judicial and intellectual credentials. Luttig is a borderline libertarian and McConnell has consitently voted on the side of federalism. Both would have certainly been "reliable votes" in addition to intellectual heavyweights. McConnell would have likely been a consensus pick, as he is a respected scholar-with support from all parts of the spectrum in academia.

Bush had an excellent opportunity to make a significant change to the court and he dropped the ball.


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