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What Did Miers Tell Bush?:
One of the central arguments used by Miers supporters is that President Bush claims that Miers is a "strict constructionist" who won't "legislate from the bench." As best I can tell, there is no evidence of Miers having said this, or anything like this, to anyone else other than President Bush before her nomination was announced. Further, President Bush has not explained why he thinks it is true: he has not explained what Miers did, wrote, or said that led Bush to reach this conclusion. Given that, I would be interested in hearing from pro-Miers readers, in the comment section, about what they imagine Miers said to Bush that led Bush to conclude that she is a "strict constructionist" who won't "legislate from the bench."
Shelby (mail):
Given Bush's linguistic skills, he probably misquoted her after she told him she (a) likes to construct art out of sticks, and (b) won't insist he watch Judy Dench.
10.14.2005 4:55pm
Richard Riley (mail):
Bush sees she's a good lawyer and loyal staffer. To him, that means she will be a good judge (a logical leap I don't share). In his mind, "good judge" means "strict constructionist" who "won't legislate from the bench." I doubt there's much more than that behind Bush's statements.
10.14.2005 5:02pm
Nobody Special:
"You are the best!"
10.14.2005 5:12pm
theogt:
My guess, truthfully, is that they went down of checklist of case types(i.e., abortion, etc) and she reassured him she would vote 'conservative.'
10.14.2005 5:38pm
james23 (mail):
I assume that questions about that conversation will draw a privilege objection, but I wonder if the privliege applies here. Anybody know?
10.14.2005 5:38pm
Andy Morriss (mail):
Can we make an inference from her views of how to interpret Biblical texts to how she'd view the Constitution's text? It seems at least plausible on the surface that an evangelical's approach to Scripture might carry over to a constitutional approach. I expound on this more here, but I hasten to add that I don't know the answer because I don't know enough theology.
10.14.2005 5:48pm
Unnamed Co-Conspirator:
How 'bout the "cringe test"? I'd like to know whether Miers cringed when W said that she shares his "judicial philosophy" and is a "strict constructionist."
10.14.2005 6:14pm
Cato the Elder:
What she should have told Bush:

"Thank you. I am flattered that you would consider me for this post, but I cannot accept the nomination. There are many more qualified candidates who are not your close friend. It will be better for you and for the country if you choose one of them."

What she did tell Bush:

"Pick me. You're totally cool!"
10.14.2005 6:23pm
BruceM (mail) (www):
Can anyone look me straight in the eyes (at least to the extent possible over the internet) and tell me they honestly believe Bush did not ask Miers flat out "Will you vote to overturn Roe v. Wade?" and that Miers did not answer with a resounding, unequivocal "Yes I will."? Surely nobody out there honestly believes this exchange didn't take place before Bush nominated her.
10.14.2005 6:28pm
Keith L. (mail):
Considering how useful it is for the GOP to have Roe v. Wade out there to relieve Republicans of the obligation to actually do anything to ban abortion, I sincerely doubt that Bush or his political handlers wanted to extract a promise to overturn Roe from Miers or any other judicial nominee.
10.14.2005 6:33pm
Unnamed Co-Conspirator:
Very unconvincing, Keith. The dems get just as much mileage out of Roe as the Repubs do, and the fact that it's there keeps Dem candidate for elected office from having to stand up in front of their constituents or would-be constituents and defend the preferred policy of NARAL and other pro-choice activists -- that of abortion on demand at any time during pregnancy, without parental notification in cases involving minors, or any other restriction, other than the requirement that one must find a physician willing to perform the procedure. That wouldn't play any better with voters than banning abortion except to save the mother's life.

If the Dems are really pro-choice, then they're acting against their own interest in opposing originalist judges. Roe is likely to be overruled or modified at some point, so I would think pro-choice Dems and Republicans alike would rather see Roe overruled by a Court having an originalist majority -- you know, a Court that would take it out of the Constitution and leave the issue up to state legislators -- than see a pro-life activist court hold that at some point a fetus is a person and not just permit the states to impose restrictions on abortion, but require that they do so. The Dems should be careful what they wish for.
10.14.2005 7:02pm
Roger Schlafly (www):
Bush has never said that he wants to overturn Roe v Wade, and some people around him definitely do not want to. Bush could very well subscribe to the theory that Republicans benefit from complaining about Roe v Wade, as long as the ruling stands.

So count me as someone who honestly believes that Bush could appoint Miers without extracting a promise to overturn Roe v Wade.
10.14.2005 7:02pm
Dread Justice Roberts:
BruceM:

I do not think the exchange you posit happened. Can you look me straight in the metaphorical eyes and say that you wouldn't have made the same assertion about Souter &Bush senior?
10.14.2005 7:14pm
Mr. Mandias (mail) (www):
Count me in the Keith L., Roger Schlafly camp. I don't think the President cares enough about Roe to risk the enormous blowback that would happen should it get out that he'd made Roe a litmus test.

Maybe he explicitly asked her about partial birth abortion, though. Dunno
10.14.2005 7:27pm
drew (mail):
I think Bush has bigger fish to fry than Roe. It has always been my opinion that the primary goal of the Bush administration has been to expand executive power (or if you listen to the bushies undo the errosion of executive power). At this goal they have been remarkably successful, and looked at in this light both of the supreme court appointees make perfect sense.

In the long term there are much more important issuse than the culture war, the Bush administration understands this. I don't agree with the goals they have but they are most assuredly long term and achieving them would have real and significant impact.
10.14.2005 7:29pm
Tony (mail):
Perhaps she said "I am a strict constructionist who won't legislate from the bench."
10.14.2005 7:43pm
David Walser:
I don't know what conversations Bush and Miers have had, but, given that they've known each other a decade or more, I would not be surprised to learn they've had several conversations on the proper role of the courts. What would be more topical for an attorney and client to discuss than a recent Supreme Court opinion -- particularly with a client who's interested in politics? I would be surprised if, over a decade, they did not have several such discussions and that, from them, the President has a very good idea of what Miers thinks on the topic.
10.14.2005 7:46pm
Brutus of the Junii:
I, for one, would be very surprised to learn that they have ever had a conversation that did not involve Miers being a complete sycophant.
10.14.2005 8:01pm
Dave Hardy (mail) (www):
Technically, there's no evidence she said it to Bush, either. He just says she won't do it. Whether she ever told him that, or that is his own estimate, is anyone's guess.
10.14.2005 10:17pm
David Sucher (mail) (www):
The Judiciary Committee can always subpeona Bush and ask him to testify.
10.15.2005 12:38am
Chris McElroy (mail) (www):
Go to google.com

Type in the word Failure

hit the button, I'm feeling lucky
10.17.2005 2:53pm