The president will then visit the Supreme Court for the investiture of
John G. Roberts, Jr., as chief justice of the United States. Roberts
will preside today over the opening session of the new term. [WaPo]
THE HERETIK WONDERS whether any Democrats will show up this time for the Senate confirmation hearings. Miers buried Bush's past National Guard service problems. Will anyone ask about them now after they got whisked away in that minor event called the 2004 election?
IN THE TRADITION OF JOHN ROBERTS Miers has no real paper trail of judicial decisions to examine. Stealth candidate part two.
RECOMMENDED READING [T Chris/Talk Left] NBC's Today Show, however, just opined that
she has no paper trial, and that may be the point. She vetted Roberts
and other potential nominees for Bush, so that give some indication.
Sen. Schumer essentially said she was an unknown. She should have
papers produced in the White House, but they can claim executive
privilege as to some. Half of all Supreme Court nominees had no prior
judicial experience. Being a real lawyer, however, would be a help.
THE HERETIK BELIEVES real qualifications for nominees in the Bush administration only cause problems later, either of conscience in service to the administration or in public relations for the White House. Like Roberts, Miers would serve for life. Whether the Democrats have enough life in them to question her rigorously is still unknown.
THUNDER ON THE RIGHT [Captain's Quarters] Miers may make a great stealth candidate, but right now she looks more
like a political ploy. Color me disappointed in the first blush.
THE HERETIK IS STUNNED Quarters points out many more candidates from the right side of the spectrum are better qualified than Miers. Is Miers most important qualification her insider status? Miers is unmarried and has no children, so she will not present the cheery but strained background family visuals John Roberts did. Were Harriet Miers a nominee in a Democratic administration, "successful unmarried career woman without kids" would be the beginning of a Rove style whispering campaign.
MYERS WILL MEET A MAIN BUSH MARK [NY Times] In brief remarks during the announcement, a beaming Ms. Miers said she
had a duty to "ensure the courts meet their obligation to strictly
apply" the constitution and to adhere to "the founders' vision of the
THE HERETIK NOTES that with absolutely no expererience on the bench, Miers cannot be lauded endlessly as having a "judicial temperament."
SO REALLY, WHAT ARE MIERS'S QUALIFICATIONS? [Attywood] . . . she does know better than just about anyone else where the bodies are
buried (relax, it's a just a metaphor...we hope) in President Bush's National Guard scandal.
In fact, Bush's Texas gubenatorial campaign in 1998 (when he was
starting to eye the White House) actually paid Miers $19,000 to run an
internal pre-emptive probe of the potential scandal.
MORE ON MIERS [Pam's House Blend] In Bush's announcement, he mentioned that Miers had done work with Exodus Ministries.
I almost wrecked my car when hearing this, and had to get online when I
got to my desk to check it out. The most well-known EM is the notorious
However, it looks like there is another Exodus Ministries,
a faith-based initiative located in East Dallas. It's a program for
ex-drug offenders and their families. EM provides a furnished apartment
for 6 months for the ex-offender and his/her family. This outfit is the
more likely affiliation. I cannot imagine that Bush would nominate
someone tied to an "ex-gay" ministry, given the political heat he is
under. He and his aides would have to be morons.
THE HERETIK SUSPECTS the "stealth" candidate might bomb.
JUSTICE MYERS? [David Frum] I believe I was the first to float the name of Harriet Miers, White House counsel, as a possible Supreme Court. Today her name is all over the news.
I have to confess that at the time, I was mostly joking. Harriet Miers
is a capable lawyer, a hard worker, and a kind and generous person. She
would be an reasonable choice for a generalist attorney, which is
indeed how George W. Bush first met her. She would make an excellent
trial judge: She is a careful and fair-minded listener. But US Supreme
In the White House that hero worshipped the president, Miers was
distinguished by the intensity of her zeal: She once told me that the
president was the most brilliant man she had ever met. She served Bush
well, but she is not the person to lead the court in new directions -
or to stand up under the criticism that a conservative justice must
MIERS MAY BE NOT QUITE "RIGHT," or right enough. [MORE FRUM] The Miers nomination, though, is an unforced error. Unlike the Roberts'
nomination, which confirmed the previous balance on the court, the
O'Connor resignation offered an opportunity to change the balance.
IS BUSH BECOMING LESS CONFRONTATIONAL? [Joe Gandelman/The Moderate Voice] Her appointment suggests (a)the Bush White House really does not want a
political battle to the death, (b)John Roberts was so well-received
that, with GWB's poll numbers on the rebound, they want to keep that
trend up, (c)the White House perhaps welcome for a change being hailed
for a choice that was so easily accepted by both parties, (d)the
personal Bush tie was also critical.
THE HERETIK FORESEES a lame scenario where the Democrats end up less vociferously opposed to Miers than some Republicans. Has anyone else seen a time when Republicans complained about Bush picking his friends for top spots in government?
WILLIAM KRISTOL IS DISAPPOINTED, DEPRESSED, AND DEMORALIZED [Weekly Standard] I'm depressed. Roberts for O'Connor was an unambiguous improvement. Roberts for Rehnquist was an appropriate replacement. But moving Roberts over to the Rehnquist seat meant everything rode on this nomination--and that the president had to be ready to fight on constitutional grounds for a strong nominee. Apparently, he wasn't. It is very hard to avoid the conclusion that President Bush flinched from a fight on constitutional philosophy. Miers is undoubtedly a decent and competent person. But her selection will unavoidably be judged as reflecting a combination of cronyism and capitulation on the part of the president.
MORE EVIDENT TO THE HERETIK by the minute, Bush who so pleased himself with the "winning" choice of a friend has lost some friends as well, at least for today. The disappointment, depression, and demoralization of the right is a new trifecta for Bush. When you consider conservatives have looked for this nomination for so long and this is what they got, perhaps Bush can say so long to yet more of his once solid base.
THE HERETIK FEELS light in the head when Republicans are disturbed by mild Dem reactions. Such is the lightness of being when the world turns upside down on itself. Harry Reid is said to be "happy?" He should be. Reid recommended Miers to Bush. Oy.
YOU HAVE TO LIKE YOURSELF FIRST [Avedon Carol] It should have been obvious he would
pick Miers. When he was looking for a running-mate, Dick Cheney was the
guy who helped him pick the VP. When he was looking for this nominee,
his little helper was Harriet Miers.
[Reddhedd/Firedog Lake] It's one thing to be loyal to your buddies, it's another thing to put that cronyism mentality ahead of the rest of the country's interests. She may be a pit bull in size six shoes, as the Preznit has famously said at one point or another, but Harriet Miers just doesn't have the experience necessary to make it onto the Court. And any honest conservative legal scholar out there will have to agree with me on this one. (Hell, Jonathan Turley, said as much this morning on the Today Show.)