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Harriett Miers as Potter Stewart: I've disagreed with a great deal of what Hugh Hewitt has written about the Miers nomination, but he had one post recently that I think is quite plausible. If confirmed, Hewitt predicted, Harriett Miers would probably be something like centrist Justice Potter Stewart:
  How will Harriet Miers turn out on the SCOTUS? My best guess is a lot like Potter Stewart, in temperment and tone, and in results.
  Given how little we know about Harriett Miers, it's hard to know for sure. Maybe she will turn out to be very conservative. Still, I think Miers-as-Stewart is a pretty fair guess. It's hard to describe Stewart's long career in a sentence, but I think it's fair to say that Potter Stewart was often considered a centrist or moderate conservative swing vote on a relatively liberal court. His was a somewhat unpredictable vote, joining Brennan and Marshall on the left in some cases and Rehnquist on the right in others.

  I think it's plausible that Miers would take a similar approach, at least based on the little we know. It seems likely to me that Miers has relatively few strong political or jurisprudential commitments: if she did, those views presumably would have come out at some point in her long career. The few glimpses we have into her own ideas seem to suggest that she is what I think of as a Texas Democrat — moderate to conservative on social issues, relatively liberal on economic issues. Those hints are just hints, of course. Miers seems to be more of a process person than a concept person, so we don't have a lot to go on. In the midst of that uncertainty, though, the idea that Miers might end up as a centrist in the Potter Stewart style seems to me a plausible guess.

Related Posts (on one page):

  1. Hewitt v. Hewitt:
  2. Harriett Miers as Potter Stewart:
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Hewitt v. Hewitt: Before he left for vacation, Hugh Hewitt was saying that we can't trust law professors and constitutional law experts who claim that Miers lacks proven competence. According to Hugh, such critics simply are being elitist. The elites say Miers lacks competence because they want people to believe that law is only understood by experts such as themselves:
  I am not surprised that many ConLaw scholars are convinced of the complexity of ConLaw-related judging. There are obvious reasons why elites are obliged to argue for the necessity of elites. But the reality is that SCOTUS judges aren't scientists or engineers, confined by their specialities to narrow areas, and the skills of an accomplished trial lawyer can be quickly adapted to judging.
  Hugh is now back from vacation, and adds that we also can't trust the Miers critics who are not law professors or constitutional law experts. Why? According to Hugh, such critics are not elite enough to know whether Miers is competent:
  The majority of commentators who are not lawyers — there are many — are simply not equipped to judge Harriet Miers' competence. . . . There is disagreement among the ConLaw superstars. Perhaps lesser mortals in this field should wait for the hearings?
  Hmm, I think I sense a theme here.

Related Posts (on one page):

  1. Hewitt v. Hewitt:
  2. Harriett Miers as Potter Stewart:
32 Comments