Monday, October 03, 2005

Souter Redux?

Harriet Miers.

Although most people might not know it, only two of the nine Justices currently serving on the Supreme Court were appointed by a Democrat. This is problematic for Republicans because two appointments, John Paul Stevens and David Souter, elevated by Presidents Ford and Bush #41 respectively, have been, to be charitable, disappointing.

Now Bush #43 has appointed Harriet Miers, a woman who has worked with him in his capacity as governor and president but who has never been a judge and has little judicial provenance. This should be disturbing to those who wish to see the court as an arbiter and not an interpreter. If recent history is a guide, and by recent history I mean David Souter, stealth nominees are a gamble and one not worth taking.

In the coming weeks we will learn more about Ms. Miers and the process by which she was selected but I can't help but think that, in light of his recent job approval ratings, Bush might have been disinclined to nominate someone that would have caused a bitter battle in the Senate. This is a mistake, because this is a fight worth having. I'll take having Schumer, Durbin, Biden, etc., as opponents every day of the week.

Instead Bush has nominated Aunt Bee, a loyal friend but undistinguished. So is my retriever.

The Roberts nomination was inspired, this one seems contrived. Bush should have done better.

Update: Hugh Hewitt thinks I and others like me are silly. I hope he is correct. But wouldn't he agree that she wasn't the best pick?

Update #2: Michelle is on to something...

What Julie Myers is to the Department of Homeland Security, Harriet Miers is to the Supreme Court. (Video of the announcement here via NYT).) It's not just that Miers has zero judicial experience. It's that she's so transparently a crony/"diversity" pick while so many other vastly more qualified and impressive candidates went to waste. If this is President Bush's bright idea to buck up his sagging popularity--among conservatives as well as the nation at large--one wonders whom he would have picked in rosier times. Shudder.

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