White House counsel Harriett Miers will be nominated to the Supreme Court. I know absolutely nothing about Ms. Miers, beyond the basics from the media. But my initial reaction is that it's unfortunate (but not surprising) that for both Supreme Court nominations, the president has chosen well-connected insiders with ties to the executive branch, rather than individuals who are more likely to bring a more "independent" perspective to issues of government and especially presidential power. And appointing his "personal lawyer" from Texas seems very Lyndon Johnsonish, and is hardly likely to repel recent charges of Bush Administration cronyism. On the other hand, I'm please that Miers is (a) not from an elite law school; (b) not a federal judge; and (c) spent the vast majority of her career outside the beltway. All good things to bring new perspectives to the Court, and, in the case of (b), break a silly tradition [that Justices MUST be from the federal bench] that has evolved.
UPDATE: Comments on the conservative "confirmthem" site are apoplectic. This nomination may give the president some problems with his base.
FURTHER UPDATE: What do Miers and Roberts have in common? They both have significant executive branch experience, and both seem more likely than other potential candidates to uphold the Administration on issues related to the War on Terror (e.g., Padilla and whether a citizen arrested in the U.S. can be tried in military court). Conservative political activists want someone who will interpret the Constitution in line with conservative judicial principles. But just as FDR's primary goal in appointing Justices was to appoint Justices that would uphold the centerpiece of his presidency, the New Deal, which coincidentally resulted in his appointing individuals who were liberal on other things, perhaps Bush sees his legacy primarily in terms of the War on Terror, and appointing Justices who will acquiesce in exercises of executive authority is his priority, even if it isn't the priority of either his base or the nation as a whole. Such Justices may be coincidentally conservative on other issues, just as FDR's nominees moved the USSC generally to the Left. Thoughts?