Uh.... whoops.... but you see an out: Yeah, Warren, you know, Warren Burger. Great save! Except who has Warren Burger as their favorite Justice? I mean, plenty of people adore and revere Earl Warren, who is widely considered one of the finest Justices in the Court's history. But Warren Burger? Come on. Well, ask her about that at the hearings. I think even the brilliant advocate John Roberts would have trouble piecing together a plausible answer if he were assigned the task of arguing that Burger was the greatest Supreme Court Justice of them all.
Really, do you have a clue why she said "Warren"? She must have meant Earl Warren when she said it, right? Because who would use the first name to identify a justice? The news report doesn't at all convey the sense that she might have been cracking a joke, and it's hard to picture her making a joke, particularly this joke, in this context. But why would she blurt out Earl Warren? Possibly because she knows he became a great justice after entering the Court with no judicial experience, and she is attempting to portray herself as capable of doing the same. But why would she name this immense liberal hero unless she didn't know the first thing about constitutional law? Even if she's secretly a liberal, this would not be the right time to roll out that information.
(Link via Bench Memos.)
UPDATE: Actually the Bench Memos post is an attempt to explain the blunder. This unsourced info is provided:
"Miers was asked about Justices she admired. She responded that she admired different Justices for different reasons, including Warren — interrupted by Senator Leahy — Burger for his administrative skills.So, maybe she was in the middle of saying the whole name and Leahy jumped in, and her point was that even Burger had some reasons why you could admire him. Except Burger is criticized for his administration skills: many of the recent Rehnquist obituaries emphasized what an improvement he made over Burger.
Reasonable people could ask whether Burger was a great administrator, but the comment is taken out of context by the Washington Post. Miers didn't express admiration for his jurisprudence."