Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Opposing Miers

Mathew Pruitt has an excellent post explaining why he can't support the nomination of White House Counsel Harriet Miers to the fill the seat on the Supreme Court being vacated by Justice Sandra Day O'Connor.

His reasoning? Ms. Miers is unqualified:

I couldn't help but to stick my nose in the air, and point out that the President had made his bed with the Conservatives, now he would have to sleep in it. This administration articulates a centrist message while winking at the right, and as a moderate Republican I have grown tired of the double talk. That is no excuse. As Simon so appropriately pointed out to me, to support a Supreme Court nominee because I enjoy watching Conservatives not get what they want, is simply wrong.

A friend called me the other day... She is a law student in her second year, and a moderate to Conservative, pro-choice Republican. I asked her what she thought about Miers. Her response was that she didn't think the Supreme Court was a place for the President to appoint his friends and their was little reassurance that Miers was capable of writing sound legal decisions, regardless of politics. Just as I was about to go off on a tirade about the fair weathered conservatives, it hit me... She was right... Harriet Miers has no business on the Supreme Court.

He goes one to say:

There are questions about Harriet Miers because she has a lack of judicial experience and there is little evidence that she can provide the level of legal opinion writing and logical thinking that Americans deserve on their Court. I know all the lawyers out there believe they are capable of being Antonin Scalia or Thurgood Marshall, but just because one was a litigator doesn't necessarily mean that they will be a good judge, and an appearance or two arguing before the Supreme Court would at least help... Harriet Miers has not even done that. There is little doubt in the minds of most that there are several, if not many individuals, who are better qualified than the current nominee.

Harriet Miers is an incredibly intelligent women, and I think those that refer to her as lightweight are diminishing what are clearly great accomplishments for political purposes; however, when it comes to the highest court in the land, incredibly intelligent and successful don't necessarily cut it.

I haven't made up my mind on this nomination, but I am leaning towards opposition. Like Mathew, I think Ms. Miers is an excellent adminstrator. She lead a law firm and the state bar. You can't be a lightweight by doing either. However, that doesn't mean that you have the acumen to be a justice on the highest court in the land. Also, those who say that she will "learn on the job" tend to forget that it takes even seasoned judges years to get their bearings. Because of Miers lack of judicial experience, let alone not even arguing in front of the Court, it might take longer for her. Do we really want that?

Mathew also has something to say about cronyism past and present and the need for a more professional government:

George W. Bush may or may not have found a talented individual to serve on the Court, regardless, what he also did was nominate a passionate and loyal political supporter who could easily be classified as his personal friend. Many will tell us that LBJ nominated Abe Fortas, and FDR, as well as Lincoln, were not above nominating close friends. However, LBJ, FDR, and Lincoln were wrong, and so is President Bush. We shouldn't accept historical trends just because they happened.

Men like Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson fought hard to reform government and create the Civil Service... At the time, a Federal job was nothing more than a handout to a family member, financial contributor, or close friend. The Civil Service instilled the simple concept that when it comes to a salary that is paid for by public tax dollars, there must be an open competition for that job, and candidates must satisfy qualification standards in order to be hired. We do this because the public has the right to know that their money is going to workers who are best positioned to do what they were hired to do.

There is a lot more to read in this post. All in all, it is an articulate explanation by a moderate Republican as to why this nomination should be pulled.

One would hope Mr. Bush would try again and put forth a better nominee, but this is a President that doesn't like to change his mind.


At 10:10 AM, Blogger HighPlainsDrifter said...

Right on!


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