I’m Seldom at a Loss for an Opinion, But…
…here I am caught without one, re: the Miers’ nomination.
And it’s not for want of trying, fer sure. It’s not hard to make a decision when one side or the other has the better arguments, but in this instance, both pro- and con- Miers debaters are making excellent, excellent points (at least, now that the rancor is dying down, they are).
David Frum sums up the points made by George Will and Charles Krauthammer, among others, against the Miers nomination. Here’s Mark “Doctor” Levin:
Miers was chosen for two reasons and two reasons alone: 1. she’s a she; 2. she’s a long-time Bush friend. Otherwise, there’s nothing to distinguish her from thousands of other lawyers. And holding a high post in the Bar, which the White House seems to be touting, is like holding a high position in any professional organization. But it reveals nothing about the nominee’s judicial philosophy. There are many top officials in the Bar who I wouldn’t trust to handle a fender-bender. Also, early in his term, the president singled out the Bar for its partisan agenda and excluded it from a formal role in judicial selection. The president said he would pick a candidate like Antonin Scalia or Clarence Thomas, and he did not. We all know of outstanding individuals who fit that bill, and they were once again passed over. Even David Souter had a more compelling resume that Miers.
You may want to scan through all of Michelle Malkin’s October archive for many links and opinions, most of which are anti- the nomination.
But the arguments pro Miers are just as good. The Anchoress calls the battle “Infantile and needlessly injurious”, and (correctly) notes that those in opposition to the nomination are doing harm to their own cause, the Bush administration and the nation. Hugh Hewitt also notes the acrimony and urges patience and reflection.
…after that relief sets in, those who deal in instant analysis will begin to err just a bit on the side of delay in the cause of more information, and those who are used to dealing out the information to hierarchies will realize that none exist anymore. Both good developments, and overdue.
So I am undecided. I understand the frustration of Will, Malkin and Krauthammer, for indeed, the opportunity to change the Supreme Court comes once a generation (and it’s been 33 years since Roe, after all). But the anti-nomination writers (those three in particular) cannot escape the fact that they are the elect, the elite, and that they (and others in their position) have precisely failed to move the court in the way they wanted. They may be right that Robert Bork was and is the premier jurist in the country, but if Antonin Scalia, Wm. Rehnquist and Clarence Thomas together cannot move the court, then how will Michael Luttig or Michael McConnell? How can we know that they will not be another David Souter or Anthony Kennedy?
Putting someone on the court, then, who is not a judge, and is not known for outstanding jurisprudence may not be such a bad thing, especially since the main problem with the court (and with the law, in my humble opinion) is that it has been too clever by half. Less cleverness and more common sense, I’d say. If I trust the president in anything, I do trust him to chose someone who knows the difference between good and evil. Right now, I don’t trust the court to know the difference and that’s not trivial.
But I’m not sold on Ms. Miers. She is a political functionary, she is a Bush crony, and there are better candidates. Worse, this nomination may have done considerable harm to the nation.