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Miers Nomination--Well, My Prediction Was Right:

Well, it looks like I was right, but I'm not too happy about it. As I wrote a month ago:

Why Roberts? Why did the President decide to nominate Roberts for Chief? The first reason is obvious--the way things are shaping up, he seems like an easy confirmation.

But allow me to propose a second, more speculative possibility. A distinguishing characteristic of this President seems to be the faith he puts in his own personal judgements and assessment of people. Perhaps it is arrogance, perhaps it is that he truly is a better judge of character and ability than the rest of us, but he truly seems to believe that he has better judgment about others than anyone else around him. Or perhaps he wants someone who he thinks will be loyal to him and no one else (such as outside interests). It is similarly my impression that far more than most Presidents he relies on his personal assessments of people who he chooses for his inner circle, rather than their resumes or experience. Indeed, he chose Roberts notwithstanding his relatively short time on the bench. Roberts, of course, was selected by him as well. Let me suggest that Roberts therefore has the one necessary (but not sufficient condition) for being Chief--he had previously won the President's trust the first time around.

***

If I am correct in this assessment of the President's decision-making style, this would suggest that his next nomination would likely be from the crop of judges that he has appointed since becoming President. This would include Brown, Clement, or McConnell, but not more experienced luminaries such as Luttig, Jones, or Wilkinson.

At the time, of course, I had assumed that some minimum degree of luminescence would be required, in addition to Presidential trust. Little did I know that being close to the President would turn out to be the sole criteriaon for nomination to the Supreme Court.

Update:

A quote off of the Comment board David linked to nicely sums up the cronyism of the pick:

Instead, this job gets filled as if it is a second tier cabinet post.

I haven't double-checked the transcript from the press conference, but is everyone sure that he said "Supreme Court" and not "Secretary of Transportation"? The latter certainly seems somewhat more plausible...

Scott Scheule (mail) (www):
Bravo, bravo. But you were still wrong about that Carly Simon song.
10.3.2005 11:12am
SP:
She's from Texas, she must be qualified! Yeehaw! Why is a certain Nebraska senator's quote about Harold Carswell coming to mind?
10.3.2005 11:26am
Complainer:
I think its a shame that the process of nominating a justice is laced with such politics.

Going through law school there are some individuals that are treated like gods by professors (Posner comes to mind). But, it wasn't until the Roberts nomination that I realized how important it is to have as little a "paper trail" as possible. (Indeed, someone as prolific as Posner probably doesn't even make the long list)

I know little about Miers other than what the media has dug up so far. She may turn out to be great. It just seems like a big flaw in our system that we don't nominate people that we know are great.
10.3.2005 11:27am
WB:
"It'll be someone he trusts" isn't a very risky "prediction."

"If I am correct in this assessment of the President's decision-making style, this would suggest that his next nomination would likely be from the crop of judges that he has appointed since becoming President."
10.3.2005 11:29am
John S (mail):
Bush, biggest spender since LBJ.
Bush, first to nominate a personal crony to the court since LBJ.
Bush, first to engage in unprovoked war since LBJ.
Bush, first to expand Medicare since it was created by LBJ.

As they say, don't mess with Texas.
10.3.2005 11:31am
Blue:
A second-rate political hack from a third-rate law school with a fourth-rate legal mind.

What a disaster.
10.3.2005 11:52am
bigbartha (mail):
"My Prediction Was Right"

Didn't you predict either Brown or Batchelder (if Bush went with a woman)?
10.3.2005 12:06pm
kelaine (mail):
Am I the only one who thinks she was intended to lose?
10.3.2005 1:05pm
42USC1983 (mail):
How is it that your prediction was right? No offense, but your original post made the sweeping claim that Bush would nominate someone whose character and loyalty he respected. The most specific you went was to write: "[T]his would suggest that his next nomination would likely be from the crop of judges that he has appointed since becoming President," including "Brown, Clement, or McConnell." So how is it that you predicted the Miers nomination?

How do you define prediction? Doesn't a prediction require some level of specificity?
10.3.2005 2:43pm