More Random Miers Thoughts and Links
All are pessimistic. Sorry. The post will continue to be updated as I think of more and read more.
1) Don’t kid yourself: Miers will be easily confirmed. Anyone who thinks otherwise hasn’t heard Democrats reacting today. SCOTUSBlog’s Tom Goldstein says she’ll be rejected. He’s wrong.
2) To the “trust Bush” crowd: Bush signed an unconstitutional campaign finance reform law. Bush instructed Ted Olson to support affirmative action in an argument to the Supreme Court. Et cetera. So even if we “trust Bush,” we’re trusting him to carry out his own policy preferences, not to pick a judge who will read the Constitution as written.
3) Even if Miers would vote the “right” way, I just don’t have enough confidence in her candlepower, because I haven’t been given any reason to have confidence. The work at the Supreme Court is not easy. It is not a matter of simply picking the result you like and fashioning an opinion around that, and Justices who treat it that way are (in my opinion) the worst disasters of all — even when they sometimes vote “our” way. They make a mess of the law, and we all have to clean up that mess.
4) David Frum worked with Harriet Miers. He says:
Harriet Miers is a taut, nervous, anxious personality. It is hard for me to imagine that she can endure the anger and abuse–or resist the blandishments–that transformed, say, Anthony Kennedy into the judge he is today.
5) A telling comment from Beldar (emphasis his):
Whether he’s right or wrong, Dubya clearly is more willing to rely on his own first-hand experience with Harriet Miers than on what others might tell him, or what he might deduce from the writings of, other potential nominees like Luttig or McConnell or Jones. It’s not his style to sit down and read the several dozen collected law review articles of McConnell or the collected judicial opinions of Luttig or Jones, and whoever else whose opinions he values are vouching for those folks, their vouching apparently hasn’t been enough (as it must have been with Roberts) to overcome his preference to go with someone he’s worked with elbow-to-elbow and face-to-face. To Dubya, McConnell and Luttig and Jones and candidates like them are the “unknown quantities.” They’re all more likely to be “potential Souters” from his point of view.
Right — because he’s too stupid and lazy to put in the work to figure out that they would be tremendous Justices. It’s “not his style” to make this decision intelligently.
6) Professor Bainbridge is as appalled as I am. One wonders if Bush would have made the same choice if he knew it couldn’t be filibustered. Unfortunately, we’ll never know, thanks to the capitulation on the nuclear option by the Gang of 14 — somthing which Bainbridge heartily supported.
7) I agree with Ed Brayton: If Miers really called Bush the smartest man she’s ever known, she’s either a nincompoop or an unrelenting sycophant. Neither bodes well.
8) Eugene Volokh offers a historical perspective that compares Miers’s background to that of White, Powell, and O’Connor. This is not reassuring either, though Volokh seemingly means it to be, saying that all three are well-regarded. Perhaps by others, but not by me. O’Connor, of course, was an unprincipled squish, and so was Powell. White was perhaps less squishy, but too erratic. None of the three even came close to being what I would consider an ideal Justice.
9) This guy has found Bush’s ideal Supreme Court. Heh.
10) At least I don’t have to feel as stupid as Andrew Sullivan must feel. (Hat tip to my new full-time consultant, Allah.) (How’s that new bride of yours, buddy?)
11) Pejman’s Chequer-Board blog has lots of excellent links on the nomination. Keep scrolling.
12) Here is one of those links: a description of Roberts’s first day on the Court. In other words, a description of what a truly impressive nominee looks like once on the bench. This makes Pejman “Ever More Wistful For What Might Have Been.”
13) Conspiracy theories are generally ridiculous. This is no exception.
14) iowahawk has Miers’s job application. Great stuff. Read it and weep.
15) This is a good example of why I love Mark Levin.
16) So what do we do? Actively oppose the nomination? Or just sit it out? I am willing to wait and see before I decide. I don’t know enough about her to know whether I’d actively oppose her; all I know is that she isn’t the caliber of a Luttig or a McConnell.
17) Lorie Byrd has the best post yet on the side of the optimists. She confronts the real issues and tries to answer them. (I think she fails, but does the best job of trying of anyone I’ve read today.)
18) I am becoming highly annoyed as I read posts talking about how Miers is religious, or how she tried to moderate the ABA’s position on abortion, or how she is otherwise likely to be against abortion. I don’t really care about her personal opinions on political issues. This is not a damn political appointment. This sort of talk emphasizes how sick the entire judicial process has become.
I have to go to bed now, so I’ll stop at 18.