Thursday, October 13, 2005

Harriet Miers OK By Me

Image hosted by Photobucket.comDo I care who President Bush nominates to the Supreme Court? Yes, of course.

What do I look for in a nominee? They should be demonstrably capable and smart as regards the law. They should be articulate in their opinions and ideas. They should begin and end their legal opinions firmly grounded in the U.S. Constitution (in between the beginning and the end they can explore any and all the U.S. legal precedent they can find but their conclusion should be tied to the actual wording of the Constitution). They should be respected by their peers....even those who may not agree with them.

Does Harriet Miers meet these criteria? Yes, I think she does...with the possible exception of how she might draw her judicial opinions from the Constitution. This is a big uncertainty but not a worry-some one. Few practitioners of the the U.S. legal profession make use of the U.S. Constitution very often anyway. Even appeals court judges are more concerned with precedents than with a direct examination or interpretation of the Constitution. In most cases, at least, the interpretation of the Constitution itself is deferred to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Miers will have the opportunity to explain what her judicial philosophy will be when she goes before the Senate Judiciary Committee. No doubt she has considered this matter often during her long and distinguished legal career.

I believe that she is qualified. I believe that President Bush is convinced that she will be faithful to his pledge to appoint judges that will tend to read their opinions from the words of the Constitution rather than read their opinions into that document of documents.

Are there other judges or potential candidates for SCOTUS who are demonstrably more convincingly conservative? Sure. But Bush, for one reason or the other, did not choose to nominate them. Why? I don't know. But it is folly to assert that Bush blundered in this nomination as though he simply rubber-stamped the recommendation of others. I am convinced that this appointment represents a more far-seeking vision than those who seem only interested in asserting their personal preferences in the here and now.

I cannot agree with Laura Ingrahm who, on her radio show today, predicted that Bush will soon "do the right thing" and withdraw her nomination in order to satisfy the far-right Republican base.

Half of that base has already expressed their support for Miers. The rest will follow once they have had their say and realize that Bush means what he says and will not change his mind on this matter.

Several leading Democrats (including Harry Reid) have already expressed their support of Miers. It will not do the Republican Party any good for anti-Mier partisans to continue their whining and crying into next week.

Mier's nomination will not be revoked. She will express her judicial philosophy clearly and well to the Senate Judiciary Committee and, in the end, she will be approved by at least the same number of votes that Judge Roberts received at his confirmation.

The nation reelected George W. Bush as President of the United States in part because it trusted him to make good court appointments. It is his job to do so. He has now done so and his candidate does not appear to have any warts or blemishes except those projected onto her by her critics.

Do I wish I knew more about her than I do? Yes, of course. By the time the Senate votes for or against her confirmation I will know a lot more. But I doubt that any of it will change my mind. Or the President's.