Patterico's Pontifications


More Chequer-Board on Miers

Filed under: Judiciary — Patterico @ 9:29 pm

Pejman has some good posts on Miers at his fine Chequer-Board blog.

In this post he says something that I wholly agree with: Harriet Miers is not a dummy. She’s just not the best person for the job:

Harriet Miers is an excellent litigator and the kind of person that a law firm would turn to in order to be managed. No one doubts that she is intelligent and accomplished. But saying that does not mean that we can also say that she is Supreme Court material. Too many people conflate the two.

Precisely. And in this post, he says:

I have no problem believing that Ms. Miers is intelligent and accomplished. But she shows no evidence of having thought deeply about constitutional principles and theories of jurisprudence.

I admit I was disappointed that Roberts had no clear philosophy of constitutional interpretation, which is why I would have preferred Luttig to begin with. But, in addition to his stellar qualifications, Roberts had a paper trail showing a clear judicial philosophy: he believes in the rule of law and not the rule of judges. Even before his confirmation hearings, I had confidence in the kind of judge that Roberts would be, based on his memos and opinions. With the Miers nomination, I have nothing like that to go on.

Also on Pejman’s blog, someone named Leon H. has this blast from the past:

In Texas, television evangelist James Robison expressed his support for Mrs. [Sandra Day] O’Connor based on a conversation Tuesday with presidential counselor Edwin Meese.

A Robison aide said Meese told the evangelist:

”Sandra O’Connor thinks abortion is abhorrent and is not in favor of it. She agrees with the president on abortion. There was a time when she was sympathetic toward the ERA (Equal Rights Amendment) movement, but the more she studied and found out about it, the more she changed her mind.

”She is very conservative … Sandra O’Connor assured the president that she was in agreement with him and she totally supports pro-family issues and the Republican platform.”

Substitute James Dobson for James Robison, and Harriet Miers for Sandra Day O’Connor. Kind of sends chills down your back, don’t it?

Look: someone who personally opposes abortion will get even more plaudits for writing a sanctimonious opinion stating that they must uphold Roe because they can’t rule according to their opinions. The New York Times editorial board will swoon. These personal opinions mean nothing in the absence of a strong judicial philosophy of respect for the rule of law, backed by a powerful intellect.

Arnold’s Measures Leading in the Polls — L.A. Times Fails to Notice

Filed under: Dog Trainer — Patterico @ 9:12 pm

Yesterday Dan Weintraub reported that a SurveyUSA poll shows all of Arnold’s measures on the November ballot ahead. (Via Dafydd ab Hugh.) Weintraub says that the SurveyUSA poll has “taken flak in the past because they use recorded voices to question voters” but nevertheless has “a decent track record.”

Does that surprise you? It surprised me.

I’ll be danged if I can find anything about it in the L.A. Times, though. Guess it must not be news . . .

Maybe This Guy Can Get an Appointment Too

Filed under: Government — Angry Clam @ 6:32 pm

[Posted by The Angry Clam]

I mean, he’s worked in the White House for three whole years, that’s got to count for something.


Filed under: Judiciary — Patterico @ 5:15 pm

We want a Justice from the Big Leagues — not the Bush Leagues.

Everything I Said Before, David Frum Says at Once

Filed under: Judiciary — Angry Clam @ 6:17 am

[Posted by The Angry Clam]

This is really required reading, regardless of where you stand on Miers.

For the proponents, it’ll help keep you from making ridiculous claims that we’re angry that she doesn’t have an Ivy League degree or an appeals court judgeship. As Frum notes, “Those who object to the Miers nomination do not object to her lack of credentials. They object to her lack of what the credentials represent: some indication of outstanding ability.”

For the opponents, it does good to realize that others with a lot wider reach than any of us on the blogs, gets it.

Now, if we’re lucky, we’ll get enough Republican senators to detach themselves from the President’s rear and vote “no” on this travesty of a nominee.

UPDATE FROM PATTERICO: I’m not yet convinced that I want to actively oppose this nominee, as opposed to simply sit on the sidelines, appalled. But I think Frum has a great article.

UPDATE FROM CLAM: I think that it is important to actively oppose the nomination, because the Miers nomination sends two messages that must be stopped early.

First, it states that mediocrity is accpetable as long as you vote the “right” way. As Frum and Will have noted, though, that’s not enough on the Supreme Court, and having 1/9th of the votes is not the same as providing intellectual leadership to the conservative legal movement.

Second, her nomination and subsequent confirmation would permanently cement the post-Bork message to young conservative lawyers: don’t take an intellectual leadership in your field. Don’t work to advance the causes you believe in. Stay away from the Federalist Society. Never publish; abandon the law reviews to leftists and old men. Most of all, never, ever stand up for your beliefs, and don’t dare to argue them, because then you’re unacceptable.

Why do you think it is that, with all the excellent conservative legal minds training under the Luttigs and the Scalias of the judiciary, or the Glendons, the Posners, and the Steven Calabresis (not Guido) of the academy, all of whom routinely take low-paying government jobs, that no organization like the ACLU exists, but only second-rate, narrow obsessive groups like the Pacific Legal Foundation, the ACLJ, the Alliance Defense Fund, and so forth?

It isn’t the money, I’ll tell you that much.

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