Tuesday :: Oct 25, 2005

Embattled Supreme Court Nominee Twists in the Wind

by Mary

Although George got a hand for his careful pick for FED chairman, his latest Supreme Court nominee, Harriet Miers, is sinking slowly into the mire. Both Democratic and Republican Senators asked Bush to turn over documentation about how Miers has been involved in policy decisions. Senators wanted her to expand on her two sentences she provided them that said her work in the White House was evidence of her experience with constitutional law. Of course, Bush flatly refused to do that. Predictably, he has just made it harder for Republicans to support her.

Miers' nomination is losing support fast and she now only has two Senators ready to back her now (both from her home state Texas). Even the manufactured effort to get the grassroots fired up to put pressure on the Senate doesn't look like it will go anywhere. Republicans are hoping she just goes away.

Conservative intellectuals continued to hammer at Miers' qualifications. Charles Fried, former solicitor general in the Reagan administration and a Harvard University professor of constitutional law, said Miers' views on current controversies or her lack of Ivy League degrees are less important than her writing samples.

These may indicate an inability to "think lucidly and deeply about legal questions and express her thoughts in clear, pointed, understandable prose," Fried wrote. "A justice without those capabilities -- however generally intelligent, decent and hardworking -- risks being a calamity for the court, the law, and the country."

Leon Friedman, a Hofstra University constitutional law professor and author of a Supreme Court history, said the closest comparison with the difficulties facing Miers is that of Nixon nominee Harold Carswell. Carswell, a federal appellate judge, was rejected by the Senate with GOP votes.

Carswell was widely considered a mediocre nominee who fared poorly in his hearings, Friedman said, prompting the famous statement from the late Nebraska Sen. Roman Hruska, "Even if he is mediocre, there are a lot of mediocre judges and people and lawyers. They are entitled to a little representation, aren't they?"

Isn't that nice? C+ Augustus wants someone on the court who represents him.

Mary :: 6:48 AM :: Comments (21) :: TrackBack (0) :: Digg It!