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Monday, October 03, 2005

More On Harriet Miers

I'm really feeling stupid about now, because I seem to be getting a different read on this than most people. I don't understand why conservatives are slashing their bellies. I always believed in making my enemies go through the work of doing that. Passions sure are hot on this one.

Beldar (I read him all the time) seems to think she's not that bad a deal:
With even a half-hour's worth of hindsight, I declare myself unsurprised that the President chose Ms. Miers. It's absolutely consistent with his appointment style for other positions going back to his days as governor of Texas: George W. Bush has consistently preferred those who are well known to him, of proven qualities and proven loyalty, over perhaps bolder or more popular choices with flashier résumés.
I think Ms. Miers' nomination is, comparatively, a safe play, but I don't think it's the product of Dubya's standing in recent, or any, public opinion polls. I think it's mostly a product of two factors. The first factor — the one that became logicially precedent to, albeit not more important than, the other key factor — was the unique-to-this-slot "need" to pick another woman to follow Sandra Day O'Connor.

...he knows, and he's always known, that the blame for an appointee who turned out to become "another Souter" would likewise be placed on him. It's a responsibility and an opportunity whose benefits and risks he sought, but that he obviously takes very seriously indeed, because from Dubya's perspective, Harriet Miers was the one prospective female nominee about whom he personally felt that he could be most certain in predicting what sort of Justice she will become.
American Center for Law & Justice seems to approve of her.

Legal Redux pronounces her "unfit to serve".

World Magazine Blog has had a number of interesting posts, but seems to lean towards thinking she will work out to be a solidly conservative but confirmable candidate.

Tentatively, I think I slant more towards Beldar's position. For one thing, I think Bush got a pretty clear signal from those with presidential ambitions on the Republican side of the isle that they wanted a woman and not one they'd have to lose poll points over. Given that reality, I can see why Bush would choose her.

I think it is a pity that so much importance is placed on having a woman, and to tell the truth I don't care at all. But it would have been a major political millstone around the neck of a male candidate, and the Democrats would have gone all out in a hellbent frenzy to kill the nomination of a female judge with impeccable legal credentials. Whether Bush has been bamboozled by Miers is another issue, but I think that it is very much in Bush's character to actually appoint someone he did believe was a conservative.

I'm going to be interested in whatever I can find of hers, but my guess is that there isn't much.

In agreement with my opinion Juan Robert it very did not give to the
form the good one. It did not answer a question! We see, ché Harriet
Miers that we put in the argument the answers, but it looks like that
number that very uneven the fact that the president never would
indicate to somebody the raised cut that resembled the summer a judge
he does not have! Is instructed... the attention of the lubricating one
of the thought of Karl Rove for this very nervous? In the affirmative case, why? Does not have the energy! You that you did not have preoccupied in the winch of him! Therefore because this disowned the selection? We began worse the raised cut? I must know, Abdul
some of the gnashing of teeth is many people have been spoiling for a fight and are horribly disappointed in not getting one. The quality of the nominee is irrelevant in the light of not getting that fight.

Also the fact that Harry Reid had nice things to say makes some nervous.

As for me, I'm comfortable saying I don't know what I don't know and I don't know.
Tommy, that is an excellent point. It does seem like some were spoiling for a fight. However, I think at least six Republican senators weren't, and that meant that Bush did not have the ability to get a candidate through a filibuster.

As for me, I don't know. But Bush doesn't fool around, and I think he believes in the idea of judges who take the text of the Constitution seriously. The thing is, Bush just is not a double-dealer. He must genuinely believe that this woman will be a conservative in terms of sticking to the Constitution.
Abdul, this is where American politics gets strange. Karl Rove has nothing to do with this. This is all about Republican senators.

Roberts did raise expectations on the right to an unreasonable point (provided that a woman had to be selected). There are very good, highly qualified women judges out there, but they would face an incredibly difficult nomination fight because they had enough of a record to prove that they were going to be somewhat conservative. The left in our country hates conservative women with an incredible passion.

So it was a given that Bush either did not nominate a woman (once Priscilla Owens said she did not want the position) or nominated a pick that was potentially disappointing to the right.

As for John Roberts, I did support him. The vast majority of the American public did. Almost everyone but crazy people or radical leftists supported John Roberts. People who hate religion or God were very against John Roberts, because he is known to be a man of faith. That's why they were trying to claim that he was a homosexual! There are not many of those, but they are very vocal.

Roberts could not answer the questions that he was asked, Abdul. Under the American constitution, the senators don't have the right to ask him those questions. If they ever gained the right to do that there would be no point in having a Supreme Court. It must be independent, and it cannot be if nominees agree to answer those questions. All judges whether they are on the left or the right agree on that.

The Senate does have the right to approve or deny a candidate. So, for example, if the candidate proves to be corrupt, or a security risk, or something of that sort he or she will not be approved. Also, a genuinely unqualified candidate could be rejected.

To have nominated such an incredibly qualified candidate as John Roberts was not a problem, Abdul. That was a very good thing for Bush to do.

No matter who Bush nominated this time, it would have been a problem. This is less a weakness that Bush showed than a weakness in Republican senators who are not willing to fight a battle for a known conservative judge. In our country, we don't kill each other over politics but politics can seem very like a war. They are considering their own political futures.

The senators who are either thinking of running for president in 2008 or are from swing states would not have wanted Bush to nominate a man, and would not have wanted him to nominate a very controversial woman. If Bush had done either, then his nominee might not have been confirmed. The Democratic senators would have seen the chance to filibuster, and all of the Republicans would not have voted to break the filibuster by changing the rules.

A filibuster is a rule whereby a minority of the Senate can block a majority of the Senate. There are 100 senators. 60 of them are needed to break a filibuster. There are only 55 Republican senators. Those 55 could change the rules of the Senate to break the filibuster, but this would be somewhat controversial.

It is not a big deal, really. The odds are that Harriet Miers is actually going to be a more conservative judge than Roberts. You can see this from what she has done in her life.
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