October 15, 2005

"No one is very happy with the Miers nomination."

But "the odds are we will soon be saying 'Justice Harriet Miers' and something along the lines of: How did that happen?" My op-ed in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.


Dean said...

I'm satisfied with the pick, at least until the hearings. That's about as happy as I get.

Sloanasaurus said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Sloanasaurus said...

Why is it that Miers (as an Attorney for 30+ years) is not qualifed to be on the Court. Or are you really saying that others may be MORE qualified.

This question is important because I personally know attorneys who would be outstanding Supreme Court Justices...if only other people knew them as well. But, alas, they just haven't gotten the break to be selected to the Court of Appeals, or didn't go to a good enough law school to make it pass stage 1 in applying for a professorship.

What if Miers reveals that she is a scholar... maybe a philosopher, a studier of the works of Kirk, Locke, Burke, Hume, Tocquville...what if Miers reveals that she has far more respect for traditional American conservatism than the likes of Michael McConnell or Michael Luttig.

People have already assumed that she does not... they have made a judgment because Harriet Miers types are not usually found at Edmund Burke Society Events...

People have made the judgment that Harriet Miers is not a "thinker" because she is not a judge or a law professor.

How absurd.

vbspurs said...

I think the summation in the Op/Ed piece is just on the money (and a damn sight less wordy than my own similar post).

Although like Sloanie, I disagree that there should be opposition to her because she's not as elite-birthed as Roberts, that is pretty much the reason most people in the centre-right of Blogosphere, and MSM are against her.

They think already that her opinions will read like, as you say, that of a "hack".

But like Dean, and my parents, and just about everyone I know who is not a Blogosphere regular, I am witholding more negative commentary on Miss Miers until the SJC hearings.

We'll see early November, won't we.

Question: How much traffic did you get via the MJS?


Dirty Harry said...

Lori Byrd on CNN.

The Anchoress blasting CBS after being invited on their blog.

And now Althouse in the JS and NYT.

It's great watching three outstanding writers and bloggers all getting the attention they deserve in the same week.

Think what we'd be missing without this great technology.

Simon said...

Why is it that Miers (as an Attorney for 30+ years) is not qualifed to be on the Court.

Simple. Here are my criteria for members of the Supreme Court:

a) A coherent and well-documented philosophy of constitutional interpretation which presents no inherent contradictions against one's parallel philosophy of statutory interpretation, and in which the relevant weight and approximate scope of stare decisis is coherently explained.


b) A demonstrable commitment to originalism (demonstrable in the sense of a paper trail rather than word-of-mouth).

Miers has none of these things. Are other traits desirable? Sure, but these are the bottom line. If Bill Clinton appointed her, fine. But this is supposed to be serious stuff.

Simon said...

Incidentally, people have jumped to conclusions about Miers because the supporters of this woman have offered NOTHING. Don't you think that if there WAS something the WH could use to defend this pick, they'd have made it known by now? Or, is your theory that they're conducting a test to see how much they can piss off the GOP, and they're actually sitting on a stack of books and articles written by Miers under a pseudonym, ready to reveal at the right moment?

vbspurs said...

Lori Byrd on CNN.

Hey! I didn't think anyone else had caught that town hall meeting on blogs this Saturday.

Who was the other guy -- I know Mike Krempasky is the redstate.org owner, but I don't think that's who they had on, was it?

Did you see that comment by the two MSM reporters, when asked this question:

"How can you be sure what bloggers are telling you is the truth?"

From a guy from NY, NY.

Both the redstater, and Lori Byrd replied the obvious, what we all know -- about the linking, and simple market economics at work, namely if you offer a defective product, you don't get return customers (your reputation is important, if you want to be taken seriously).

The two news desk copy boys they had on replied, "Without trying to sound elitist, not everyone's voice should count."

Erm, too late. You just sounded elitist.


Hoots said...

Your op-ed is spot on.
I wonder why it takes so may words for others to say the same thing.

ziemer said...


have you not read a single post here the last two weeks?

that she is unqualified has been more than amply demonstrated long before now. go back and read previous posts.

Ann Althouse said...

Sloan: It's an extremely important job where the person gets life tenure. Marginally qualified is not enough. I'm willing to defer to the President, but only up to a point and not forgoing criticism of him for making a poor choice and defending the choice poorly.

EddieP said...

McConnell or Luttig won't be nominated even if Miers were to withdraw. This appointment will definitely go to a woman. Many of us wanted Janice Rogers Brown, but I too am willing to wait until the hearings to decide. The hysterical screeching from the elites sounds just like the KosKids to me.

Incidently I don't consider Ann's article to be a screech. It's a thoughtful reasoning from a thoughtful, fun person.

Ann Althouse said...

Thanks, Eddie. I haven't called for withdrawal. I'm just sad to see that this is what is happening after waiting so long and knowing there are so many very strong prospects out there. Right now, I'm waiting for the hearings, and I'll take a final position based on that.

Murph said...

The hidden angst over the Miers nomination is simple – conservatives were spoiling for a fight over SC nominations and Bush denied them the opportunity. Like teenage boys with the keys to a powerful car, the new majority Republicans were hoping for a showdown with Kennedy, Biden, Schummer, and et al. One glorious death match not just over the philosophy of the court but the prerogative of the President to put philosophical soul mates on the bench. As Ann concludes in her newspaper piece, Ms. Miers may very well take a seat on the court – not with the nuclear mushroom cloud many Ann Coulter conservatives felt was their due, but with a whimper. The hard-core right is angry that Bush, after winning solid majorities in both houses and two elections, seems timid to take his muscle car out for a spin. Many conservatives are wondering -- What’s the point of winning power if you’re afraid to use it?

Simon said...

Eddie- I have concerns that Brown might be weak on substantive due process, as indeed our newly-minted Fearless Leader demonstrated himself to be during his nominations hearings. In her famous "Whiter Shade of Pale" FedSoc speech, she seemed to diclose an affinity for the Lochner era use of substantive due process; I don't care whether SDP is being used to find non-existent constitutional rights that liberals like (Roe, Lawrence, et al) or non-existant constitutional rights that conservatives like (Lochner, Adkins, et al). As Bork points out, "Who says Roe, says Lochner and Dred Scott" (Tempting of America, 1990 ed., p.32), by the same logic, who says Lochner cannot be taken seriously if they refuse to say Roe, Lawrence et al. What makes one unenumerated right unsupported by broad and sustained historical practise any more or less valid than any other? What citerion is available?

All that having been said, I would be willing to entertain a Brown nomination, and give much more deference; that I don not know more about Brown is because I have not chosen to read her volunimous paper trail, as opposed to Miers, where there simply is none to read.

Sean said...

Ann, it's not clear from your article, but I hope you aren't indulging the academicians' fantasy that persuasive opinions are important. Surely you don't know anyone who thinks Roe v. Wade is persuasive? Back when I had left-wing lawyer friends, their Holy Grail was to develop a persuasive theory to support the result in Roe, not to claim that the opinion itself was well-written.

For that matter--although you should NOT repeat this at your confirmation hearings--most people (not just lawyers, but historians) don't consider Brown v. Board of Education to be a well-written or persuasive opinion.

Ann Althouse said...

Sean: I most certainly do think persuasive opinions are important. But if you think the judge is going to reach outcomes you don't like, it will be a benefit if the judge doesn't manage to write persuasive opinions. I cite this as a reason Democrats might bet on Miers as opposed to the person Bush would nominate if she were withdrawn.

Simon said...

Back when I had left-wing lawyer friends, their Holy Grail was to develop a persuasive theory to support the result in Roe, not to claim that the opinion itself was well-written.

They've been trying for thirty years without success, so I'd say it's time to give it up as a bad deal. Besides, as I pointed out here, their continuing desparation to cling to Roe speaks ill of their confidence in their much-touted majority status.

Ryan Hatch said...

Why is every paragaph in your editorial only one or two sentences?

Ann Althouse said...

Ryan: The paragraph formatting is their convention, not mine.