October 21, 2005

The private meetings with senators haven't gone well.

The Washington Times reports that Harriet Miers won't be visiting with any more senators prior to her hearings. She's only done 25 visits -- and they've been "more chaotic than courteous." John Roberts visited 50 senators.
The meetings have been fraught with misunderstandings and disagreements, giving ammunition to detractors, both liberal and conservative, that Miss Miers is in over her head.

"No one is walking out of these meetings thinking they've just met with a star," a Republican Judiciary staffer said yesterday.
The official story is that she needs the time to bone up on constitutional law for the hearings and that the hearings will present the candidate more clearly. But does anyone really think she'll be able to present herself more favorably in the hearing room than in those private meetings?

Withdraw! Withdraw! All signs point to: Withdraw!


Meade said...

Isn't that what they call "bad news friday?"

ALH ipinions said...


It seems Miers is becoming a victim of intellectual biases that are feeding a self-fulfilling prophecy (wishful thinking) that her nomination will be aborted (Borked?). The way this woman has been pilloried – especially by her fellow "judge not, lest ye be judged" Christians - is really quite sad.

Give her a chance Ann. What are you so afraid of? Incidentally, perhaps with one exception, I doubt any of the Justices sitting on the Court today would’ve fared well as a nominee following in the shadow of John Roberts.

reader_iam said...

Do-overs. Boning up. What next, an all-night cram session? These are the sort of terms you'd use in connection with a schoolgirl,not a Supreme. But here we are How can the powers-that-be not see how ridiculous this situation is? Sigh.

Ann Althouse said...

ALH: Give her a chance? It's a lifetime appointment.

Henry said...

ALH -- She's getting chances. She's meeting with Senators. She's filling out questionaires. Her White House handlers are handling questions.

And she's doing badly badly badly.

I took the wait and see attitude at first, but my goodness, could the White House defense of Miers be more clueless and offensive? Has anyone ever heard of Senate judical staffers trashing a judicial nominee like this? Has any nominee considered cutting back on senatorial visits to avoid embarassing him or herself?

If Miers gets on the court, the big behind-the-scenes battle will be getting her the "right" clerks. Someone's going to have to write her opinions, after all.

john(classic) said...

"2005-10-18) -- Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers, making the rounds among influential Senators yesterday, refused to answer questions about her views on the landmark abortion case, Roe v. Wade (1973), citing her right to privacy as found in the 1965 Griswold v. Connecticut Supreme Court ruling..."


Jack said...

My fundamental question is this:

Is someone who needs to "bone up" on Constitutional Law really "extremely qualified" to sit on the US Supreme Court.

My answer to that question is "No."

Am I being unreasonable?

SamIAm said...

Instead of promising to "bone up" on constitutional law, Miers should just tell everyone the truth about the Supreme Court: it's an easy job and you are spoon-fed everything you need to know. Allow me to explain. By the time the Supreme Court grants certiori to hear a case raising a particular issue of constitutional law, there usually are a number of federal appellate court opinions interpreting that very same constitutional issue. More often than not there is a split in opinion among at least two of these appellate courts, and courts on both sides of this split have written opinions fleshing out the consitutional issues and arguments, and explaining why one argument is more persuasive than another. Also, by the time a case reaches the Supreme Court, the constitutional issue will have been briefed over and over by the parties themselves. Because of all this spoon-feeding, there will be no need for the Harriet Miers to be an expert on issues of constitutional law. And her law clerks can write the opinion for her, making it sound scholarly (while borrowing liberally from the appellate court opinions agreeing with her). Since the mental part of this Supreme Court job is not really so tough (it's far tougher to be a trial judge or appellate court judge), Senators should stay focused on the question that really matters: does Miers have some sort of social agenda and, if so, what is it?

Ruth Anne Adams said...

I can't shake this feeling that it's Magic 8-Ball.

"All signs point to: withdraw".

Reply hazy. Ask again later.