Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Justice Miers?

The reaction to the selection of Harriet Miers to fill the seat being vacated by Sandra Day O'Connor is pretty much against her. Michael Stickings at The Reaction has a great take on the choice of Miers to the High Court. His take? Not a good choice.

As I said in my post yesterday, one doesn't have to be a judge to be a justice on the Supreme Court. However, as a friend pointed out last night, it would help to have been a legal scholar. Michael adds it would have helped had this person worked in the Justice Department or was a politician, something that showed this person wresteled with the Constitution. As far as one can tell, Miers hasn't been a position where she had to actually think about some of these vexing issues such as abortion or gay rights in a legal setting. It doesn't mean she's dumb. After all, one can't be an idiot when you run a large law firm or head the state bar association. But that doesn't mean you can handle constitutional issues either. As today's Minneapolis Star Tribune notes:

Appointing a non-judge to the highest court is not new. Chief Justices William Rehnquist and Earl Warren most conspicuously came straight to the highest court. But Miers' résumé is extremely rare for a high court appointee in that it is confined almost exclusively to private practice in corporate law; she has no Justice Department experience or background in legal scholarship that would give her more than a nodding acquaintance with many of the constitutional issues that are the bread and butter of the Supreme Court.

Another thing that I've been thinking about is just how unconcerned the Bush team is with how this all appears. In light of former horse judge-cum-FEMA Head-cum former FEMA Head, Michael Brown, you'd think the Administration would try not to even appear to be playing the cronyism card. Again, I don't know if Miers is or isn't qualified, but picking someone who has been a loyal Bush friend smells of cronyism.

As others have noted, the pick of Miers shows that Bush may not have any fight left in him. As early as last spring, Bush was willing to fight for the nominations of people like John Bolton. But now, he picks a person that is even worth a fight. Bush may have realized that he doesn't have to run for office anymore and doesn't have to please his base as much.

If he has lost his fight already, it might mean that the White House will be on autopilot for the next three years.


At 7:17 PM, Blogger halfback jack said...

John Marshall (who was the youngest Chief Justice ever--in 1845[?]) was also one who did not have prior judicial experience before being named to the SCOTUS.

I also doubt he had corporate law experience. And I don't think they had ambulances in those days, so that rules out an ambulance chaser too. ;-)

It does smell of cronyism, but I have to admit that it is fun to see the tightie righties scowling on the tele again. You're correct--he is not running again so Bush can do what he feels like doing and not be beholden to the factions within the party.

Hey, at least he didn't nominate Brownie!


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