GOP Senators Voice Miers Doubts:
The New York Times has an important report in tomorrow's paper about how Miers is being received among GOP Senators:
  The drumbeat of doubt from Republican senators over the Supreme Court nomination of Harriet E. Miers grew louder Tuesday as several lawmakers, including a pivotal conservative on the Judiciary Committee, voiced concerns about her selection.
  Emerging from a weekly luncheon of Republican senators in which they discussed the nomination, several lawmakers suggested that as Ms. Miers continued her visits on Capitol Hill, she was not winning over Republican lawmakers.
 "I am uneasy about where we are," said Senator Jeff Sessions, an Alabama Republican on the Judiciary Committee who had so far expressed only support for the president's choice. "Some conservative people are concerned, that is pretty obvious."
  Senator John Thune, Republican of South Dakota, called Republican sentiment toward Ms. Miers's nomination "a question mark."
  "There is an awful lot of Republican senators who are saying we are going to wait and see," he said.
  Senator Norm Coleman, a Minnesota Republican in the political middle of his party, said he needed "to get a better feel for her intellectual capacity and judicial philosophy, core competence issues."
  "I certainly go into this with concerns," Mr. Coleman said.
  There's more in the article — the whole thing is worth reading.
The last paragraph is hilarious:

Asked if the debate had become "one-sided," with too few defending Ms. Miers, Senator Sessions, the Alabama Republican, struggled for words, then pushed a button for a nearby elevator in the Capitol building and told an aide, "Get me out of here."
10.26.2005 3:38am
jgshapiro (mail):
Yes, but as each new revelation comes out suggesting Miers might be something of a moderate, and as each new Republican senator reacts by distancing themselves from the nomination, you can expect a Democratic senator to become more comfortable in response and to embrace her nomination. Not that the Democratic senator would have picked her, but they figure, she's the best they will get from Bush. Likewise with the moderate Republicans.

And don't foget the party loyalists.

I'm beginning to think she might get confirmed, with 35 Democratic votes and 15-20 Republican votes. You can almost hear the Democrats now, chanting "give her an up or down vote on the floor."

Wouldn't that be ironic.
10.26.2005 4:07am
Random Law Talking Guy (mail):

Now, the New York Times is quoting John Thune and Jeff Sessions! Don't get me wrong, I oppose Miers, but it is hilarious to see the Democrats (read, "the NYT") twisting and turning to get authoritative condemnations of the appointee from people that they were calling lying fascist warmongers not five minutes ago.

First, the NYT was quoting the Judiciary Committee staff that the newspaper previously believed only qualified to serve hard time in prison, now the good Senator from South Dakota that the paper was denouncing as a racist, sexist, homphobic fascists less than a year ago? What next, will the NYT be running op/ed pieces by Newt Gingrich next week?

Karl Rove is a freaking genius.
10.26.2005 10:19am
Scott Moss (mail) (www):
It's interesting to see Norm Coleman abandoning the White House. He's a pretty centrist guy who, to date, has been far more loyal to the White House than his issue profile would've suggested.
10.26.2005 10:30am
Jason Sorens (www):
This Washington Post article is unlikely to endear Miers further to conservatives - but it does increase the chances of the jgshapiro scenario.
10.26.2005 11:18am
Marc Shepehrd (mail):
jgshapiro, the question for Democrats is: What's behind Door #2? The last time Democrats successfully derailed a Republican SCOTUS nominee (Robert Bork), they wound up with someone considerably more to their liking (Anthony Kennedy).

Although Conservatives are justly worried about Miers's apparently centrist/moderate leanings, the fact is that if she were a "well qualified moderate" (I know some people think that's an oxymoron, but they do exist), she would be confirmed easily. To paraphrase Michael Dukakis, this nomination isn't about ideology; it's about competence.
10.26.2005 11:30am
Phil (mail):
Random Law Talking Guy

This reminds me of Lindsey Graham, former impeachment manager when in the house, becoming a "courageous moderate" by joining the gang of fourteen
Oh well
Just sit back and enjoy the show
10.26.2005 11:36am

I think the problem with the Bork analogy is that he was denied confirmation precisely because he was painted as a radical conservative, but not because he was unqualified. Miers, on the other hand, might get denied confirmation for a combination of reasons: both that she is unqualified but also that she is not what certain conservatives want from an ideological perspective.

So, the person after Miers may be both more qualified and more in tune with conservative expectations. And that may or may not be a deal the Democrats want to make. In other words, all things considered, some of them might actually like Miers more than Roberts, and wouldn't want to replace Miers with another Roberts.
10.26.2005 11:45am
David Maquera (mail) (www):
The reason why Democrat Senators will not vote to confirm Miers is because she is so beholden to President Bush. Just recall the gushing notes and letters she wrote to then Governor Bush. Also recall that in her current role in the White House, Miers' fingerprints are all over various policies/decisions that will likely be the subject matter of some cases that may end up before the SCOTUS. Therefore, regardless of how socially moderate Miers may seemingly appear, the last thing the Democrat Senators want to do is to confirm a nominee who is going to rubberstamp Bush's policies/decisions as a justice on the SCOTUS.
10.26.2005 12:38pm
Richard Bellamy (mail):

Your two points cancel each other out. You say (1) she'd rule for the Bush administration, but (2) she'd probably have to recuse herself from most Bush administration cases anyway. So who cares?

Bush will only be in office for three more years. Is one or two votes in favor of Bush and Guantanamo Bay (that would conceivably, turn a 6-3 ruling into a 5-4 ruling) a reason to vote against a nominee when the alternative is someone more "Conservative"?
10.26.2005 1:19pm
I agree, Richard. In fact, if they can nail her down on some areas of recusal during the hearings, that might help gain a lot more Democrat votes.
10.26.2005 2:08pm
jgshapiro (mail):
Jason, I didn't realize that by posting here I would have a scenario named after me. I would prefer that a scenario bearing my name be that she is rejected 100-0. I heard Bill Kristol claim the other day that Bush was finally uniting the country -- against Harriet Miers. That would be nice, if it were true.

Marc, I agree that the calculus (actually, for both the Dems and the conservative Republicans) is what the alternative to Miers is, and no one knows. If Rove and/or Libby are indicted this week, Bush gets even weaker. Does that mean he appoints someone who is moderate to shore up his approval numbers, or does that mean he appoints someone conservative to appease his base? Your guess is as good as mine.
10.26.2005 3:43pm
Dilan Esper (mail) (www):
One thing I wish that the media would pick up on a little more is the fact that many of these Republicans raced out to support previous judicial nominees without anything other than assurances from the White House and a resume as to whether they were ideologically compatible and fit to serve on the courts. Then they would turn around and attack Democrats who said they wanted to wait for the hearings and/or that they weren't satisfied with the amount of information they received for being "obstructionists".

There is nothing wrong with the conservative skepticism of this nominee. But there was something quite wrong with the conservatives jumping out in front to support previous nominees before they had even looked at their record or questioned them. This time they are doing their job. In the past, they were being cheerleaders.
10.26.2005 3:46pm
David Maquera (mail) (www):
Richard Bellamy: you presume too much when you assume that Miers will "probably have to recuse herself." There is no hard and fast rule for a Justice of the SCOTUS to rescuse him or herself. Furthermore, you conveniently overlook the current disagreement between Republican Senators and the White House over legislative language regarding the torture issue, which Miers could very well end up reviewing as a Justice of the SCOTUS should she be confirmed.
10.26.2005 4:10pm
Scott Moss (mail) (www):
A report by Fox News anchor Brit Hume (in the news part of his show, not the roundtable/commentary part) insisted that the NY Times was being inaccurate in saying there was a "drumbeat of doubt," because many of the Republican Senators were saying simply "I don't know yet." Even setting aside that many Senators were more critical yet. "I don't know" sure sounds like "doubt," especislly when it comes from Senators of the President's party... but hey, who am I to question a fair and balanced report like Fox's?
10.26.2005 10:52pm