pageok
pageok
pageok
Half of GOP Senators Doubt Miers:
From the Monday Washington Times:
  Nearly half of Senate Republicans say they remain unconvinced that Harriet Miers is worthy of being confirmed to the Supreme Court, according to a survey conducted by The Washington Times.
  As with the nomination of Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., the vast majority of senators say they will not announce their final decisions about the nomination until after Senate Judiciary Committee hearings, which are expected sometime next month.
  What's troubling for President Bush, however, is that 27 Republican senators -- almost half of his party's members in the chamber -- have publicly expressed specific doubts about Miss Miers or said they must withhold any support whatsoever for her nomination until after the hearings.
jgshapiro (mail):

Sen. Sam Brownback, Kansas Republican and a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said last week that he is perfectly willing to vote against the nomination if he is not convinced that she will be reliably conservative on the high court.
I wonder if the doubt from the 27 GOP senators comes mostly from senators who are afraid that she is a closet lefty and will come up with results they don't like, or from senators who think she is not qualified for the post, regardless of the results she comes up with?

I get the impression from the article it is much more of the former than the latter, but the Times does not name that many names of the 27 senators who are unconvinced, let alone provide a breakdown for why they are unconvinced, so it is impossible to tell.
10.10.2005 3:55am
Challenge:
I agree with jgshaprio that it's more of a worry about how she will ultimately vote, but that is related to her qualfications, I think. O'Connor may have been more vulnerable to the siren song of activism because she lacked an articulated judicial philosophy to anchor her. She was also relatively inexperienced in federal law. Why learn the law when you can make it up as you go along?
10.10.2005 4:36am
Pubic_Defender:
The real news is that Bush said, "Trust me," and even Republicans said, "no."

Democrats figured out that W wasn't trustworthy more than five years ago. Texas Democrats have known for a decade.
10.10.2005 7:47am
erp (mail):
Republicans should keep their opinions on the Miers nomination to themselves until the hearings reveal some facts. They're reacting to what is basically gossip and since when do we value pointy-headed intellectuals and ivy league diplomas? Aren't they a big part of why we've been under the control of koolaid drinking moonbats for most of the last 100 years?

I would have hoped the disgraceful Torquemedas in the senate and the media would have waited until Miers actually says something before they started conducting another Spanish inquisition.
10.10.2005 9:29am
Nobody (mail):
I thought I read somewhere that the Senate has an obligation to confirm the president's nominee if he or she is "qualified" (which Miers inarguably is), and that it was illegitimate to inquire into the nominee's ideology or to ask the nominee to "prejudge" any issues. I know I heard that somewhere.....
10.10.2005 10:07am
Jody (mail) (www):
confirm the president's nominee if he or she is "qualified" (which Miers inarguably is)

I believe the qualifications of Miers are far from inarguable.
10.10.2005 10:13am
Lawbot2000:
Nobody: You are wrong on a few different issues. First, there is no obligation for the Senate to confirm any nominee, no matter how qualified. It is a reasonable argument that the Senate has an obligation to -vote- on any nominee, but they could ding them for whatever reason they want. "I know I heard that somewhere...." Clearly not from a very reliable source.
Also, you assert that Miers is "inarguably" qualified. This is a joke, right?
10.10.2005 10:15am
Robert Schwartz (mail):
I am shocked how can any Senator doubt Harriet Souter?
10.10.2005 12:09pm
jab (mail):
Via www.andrewsullivan.com, a great quote from Hamilton on the advise-and-consent duty of the Senate:

"To what purpose then require the co-operation of the Senate? I answer, that the necessity of their concurrence would have a powerful, though, in general, a silent operation. It would be an excellent check upon a spirit of favoritism in the President, and would tend greatly to prevent the appointment of unfit characters from State prejudice, from family connection, from personal attachment, or from a view to popularity. In addition to this, it would be an efficacious source of stability in the administration.

It will readily be comprehended, that a man who had himself the sole disposition of offices, would be governed much more by his private inclinations and interests, than when he was bound to submit the propriety of his choice to the discussion and determination of a different and independent body, and that body an entire branch of the legislature. The possibility of rejection would be a strong motive to care in proposing. The danger to his own reputation, and, in the case of an elective magistrate, to his political existence, from betraying a spirit of favoritism, or an unbecoming pursuit of popularity, to the observation of a body whose opinion would have great weight in forming that of the public, could not fail to operate as a barrier to the one and to the other. He would be both ashamed and afraid to bring forward, for the most distinguished or lucrative stations, candidates who had no other merit than that of coming from the same State to which he particularly belonged, or of being in some way or other personally allied to him, or of possessing the necessary insignificance and pliancy to render them the obsequious instruments of his pleasure."
10.10.2005 12:14pm
Cheburashka (mail):
I think the right way to think of Miers is as a two-fer. Besides being a woman, she's representative of that significant sector of the country which has heretofore lacked representation on the court - "born again" evangelical Christians.
10.10.2005 12:15pm
Adam (mail) (www):
I find it amazing how often defenders of Miers still claim that she is being opposed for her lack of an "ivy league diploma," rather than face the fact that she's being opposed for what little she's done since.
10.10.2005 12:17pm
Publi_Defender:
To the conservatives who read this site:

Bush has told us he knows Miers and knows that she has the "right" views on how to interpret the constitution. If you don't take Bush at his word, do you think he is a liar or a fool?

If you won't take his word on Miers, why should I trust what he has to say about 1) why he invaded Iraq; 2) Social Security privatization; 3) the benefits/risks of his tax plan; 4) the detention Americans (or anyone else, for that matter) based on his word alone that they're associated with terrorists; 5) anything else.

The lesson the Miers nomination has little to do with Miers herself. It has to do with conservatives finally learning that Bush is not a man to be trusted.
10.10.2005 12:18pm
PersonFromPorlock:
Qualified, schmalified, the Right (which has never been too impressed with Bush except for the WOT) isn't upset about who he nominated but who he didn't. Miers may very well be qualified for the job, but given the list of those who are known to be well qualified but who are 'controversial', Bush's picking of her looks to the Right like cronyism fed by spinelessness.
10.10.2005 12:25pm
erp (mail):
Bush never said to trust him or to take his word for it and confirm Miers. He said he thinks highly of her and thinks we will too after we hear what she has to say. Why is that such a difficult concept?

The senators on the judiciary committee will get a chance to listen and ask questions and then the whole senate will vote yes or no.

That's how our system works.
10.10.2005 12:30pm
jab (mail):
I wish I could go back to my earlier post and emphasize the last line of that Hamilton quote:

"He would be both ashamed and afraid to bring forward, for the most distinguished or lucrative stations, candidates who had no other merit than that of coming from the same State to which he particularly belonged, or of being in some way or other personally allied to him, or of possessing the necessary insignificance and pliancy to render them the obsequious instruments of his pleasure."
10.10.2005 12:35pm
David M. Nieporent (www):
Public_Defender: with the exception of item #4 on your list, each of those items can be judged on their own merits; they do not depend on Bush's word.

Erp: that was either a great parody of Miers' defenders, or quite silly.
10.10.2005 12:47pm
Michael B (mail):
"Nearly half of Senate Republicans say they remain unconvinced that Harriet Miers is worthy of being confirmed to the Supreme Court ..."

And the other half are either mute or are voicing reassurances similar to Dobson's "trust me" or Hewitt's equally mind-vacating "it ain't all that hard" rationale and tired repetitions of the "elitist" charge. Even Beldar's more thoughtful and energetic defenses of Miers, while they avoid most of the mindless reassurances, succeed only to a limited degree (I'd support Miers for mayor based on his defenses, but not for SCOTUS justice).

If centrist/conservatives recline in their couch potato apathy on this nominee and allow her safe passage w/o proper critical review they well may, in the formulation of the cynic, "deserve what they get". However, there remains an opportunity to transcend both cynicism and apathy in this situation and to reply with a more focused and a more substantial critique. (Not forgetting it's also senatorial weaknesses which may, in large part, have predicated Miers's nomination.)

Miers, on the basis of virtually all the critical indicators at this point, should be rejected - and resolutely so.
10.10.2005 1:18pm
Public_Defender:
Whether Iraq was a good idea or not can be argued on the facts, but as to Bush's motivation, we have only his word. (I was a skeptical supporter of the war, but more for the reasons given by Tom Friedman than many conservatives.)

For a lot of reason, the ability to trust a president matters. My question remains to the conservatives: If you don't trust W here, why should we trust him on anything else?
10.10.2005 1:30pm
Shelby (mail):
Public_Defender:

I don't care whether you trust him or not (though I'm not a conservative). I don't trust him farther than I can kick him - though I'll weigh evidence he adduces in support of his position. Sometimes that leads me to agree he's right; sometimes not. Unfortunately, he's rarely any good at actually arguing his case, even when there's good evidence to support it.

In this case there is very little evidence, and the arguments using it are so far pretty unconvincing.
10.10.2005 1:57pm
magoo (mail):
The debate is fascinating. Many people who are now insisting on a "reliably conservative" nominee are the same folks who have been saying for 25 years that judges should be apolitical. For anyone who is tempted to respond -- "They mean 'jurisprudentially conservative', i.e. apolitical" -- save it. It's garbage. Most of them mean politically conservative, period.
10.10.2005 2:00pm
Per Son:
What is this garbarge about Evangelicals being represented on the Supreme Court? On what basis, does anyone think that the Supreme Court is a representative body. Damn!
10.10.2005 2:04pm
juris imprudent (mail):
Public_Defender,

As a libertarian, my 'conservative' instinct is to NEVER trust ANY politician just on his word. Bush is no exception. Either a proper argument is made, or it isn't. Trust only extends to believing that if a proper argument has been made, the resulting course of action will be followed faithfully.

Of course on another thread I discovered that I am actually a Post Modern Libertine. I am going out tomorrow to get a bunch of PML buttons made up.
10.10.2005 2:52pm
Public_Defender:
Bush has said that Miers shares his views on judicial restraint and interpreting the constitution. For those of you who think that Bush can be trusted, isn't that enough?

It's interesting that none of the responses so far have said that Bush is a man worthy of trust.
10.10.2005 3:36pm
Wince and Nod (mail) (www):
Bush is a man worthy of trust. So is Public_Defender. They just have different information, opinions and priorities. That's why I like to hear their information, opinions and priorites. So I can make up my own mind.

So far, I don't agree with Public_Defender's opinions on the nature of truth, lies and opinion, but he has been reliable in other ways.

I understand why people are so sure of their opinions, because I'm sure of mine. I also understand why people think so little of their political opponents, for similar reasons, but it isn't to our credit.

Yours,
Wince
10.10.2005 3:55pm
Perseus (mail):
Public Defender: I've always liked Reagan's adage, "Trust but verify," which is why Bush's personal confidence in Miers is insufficient.
10.10.2005 5:44pm
Sean O'Hara (mail):
Bush has said that Miers shares his views on judicial restraint and interpreting the constitution. For those of you who think that Bush can be trusted, isn't that enough?

Argument from false premise: You assume that trusting Bush is the same as agreeing with him.

It's interesting that none of the responses so far have said that Bush is a man worthy of trust.

I trust Bush to execute an agressive foreign policy of the type I support. I also trust him to pursue profligate fiscal policies, approve every bill that crosses his desk, advance a sometimes questionable social agenda, and reward his faithful.
10.10.2005 6:15pm