Harriet Miers is no longer a Supreme Court nominee

Thursday, October 27, 2005
The Bush administration is very fortunate. Harriet Miers will no longer be a nominee to replace Sandra Day O'Connor. A number of people like myself changed their mind about her. We are the type of individuals who go out of our way to be fair and worried about the possible repercussion’s of the candidate’s withdrawal. In other words, when Miers lost my support---her candidacy was in real bad shape.

Ms. Miers was not taken to task for being a woman, or somebody who did not attend one of so-called elite universities. I was far more concerned about her apparent lack of interest regarding Constitutional law matters after she graduated. Miers also seemed to be an intellectual chameleon who changed her mind to simply satisfy those around her. I do not trust her. And I strongly believe that I’m justified in doing so.

Let us hope that President Bush will pick someone far less risky. He’s been giving a golden opportunity. I think his next nominee will have little difficulty in getting confirmed.

17 comments:

flenser said...

Well, this pick was in trouble from day one. I initially thought she might be a good judge, although the whole "stealth" business was bizarre. But it became increasingly clear that she was as far from a Scalia or Thomas as possible.

It may be too much to hope for, but perhaps the WH will "consult" with Republicans, other than Specter, before the next pick.

It might also be a good idea if candidates were properly vetted before beng announced.

Seneca the Younger said...

David, my prediction (see above) is exactly the opposite: the next nominee, no matter how qualified, will have extreme difficulty being confirmed, and the President's political opponents will feel empowered to engage in a character assassination the likes of which we have never seen.

flenser said...

Seneca

"..the President's political opponents will feel empowered to engage in a character assassination the likes of which we have never seen. "

They have been engaged in exactly this kind of political assassination for the past five years, at least. Why do you assume that they will suddenly feel empowered to do what they have been doing all along?

MeaninglessHotAir said...

David,

How does somebody as rational and level-headed as you become part of the baying mob?

flenser,

You lost a lot of political capital and a lot of allies over this one. Hope it was worth it.

For the record, I'm not a Miers supporter. I suspect I wouldn't like her decisions at all. But I thought she should at least be given a chance. I think you guys have played it very stupidly.

David Thomson said...

Laurence Silberman is pro-abortion, but still thinks that Roe vs. Wade is an abomination. The real struggle today is between those who embrace philosophical moderate realism and the postmodernists. How best to explain moderate realism? The proposition that all men are mortal and therefore all men will die is accepted as undeniable by most people. However, the postmodernist will immediately ask whether you have met all men. How can you be absolutely sure that they have all died? Perhaps some are still alive but hiding.

Whenever you are confronted by someone who claims to be able to find “penumbras” and “emanations” in the American Constitution---you know you are talking to a full-blown idiot. Such a person should not be a supreme court justice. Heck, they shouldn’t even be in a courtroom deciding on the fate of an alleged jaywalker!

flenser said...

MHA

If Miers had been confirmed, how much politcal capital would you have lost? How many allies?

You gain political capital by winning, and you lose it by losing. In other words, the conservatives gained capital here, and the liberals lost it.

This was a foolish pick and a bad nominee. The liberal Republicans once again placed themselves ahead of the party. This time, they got slapped down for it. Thats politics at work.

Knucklehead said...

I see this as a further usurpation (by precisely whom I'm not sure but it seems to now be both parties and some large portion of We the People) of Executive power.

This has demonstrated, quite clearly, that the POTUS may not excercise a portion of the power granted him by Article II, Section 2, Clause 2, of the US Constitution if some sufficient number of people throw a hissey fit.

Neither the power to nominate justices nor vote yeah or nay on the nominee is granted to "the people". The power to nominate is not granted to legislators.

In the recent past it was the Democrats who were determined to deny a Repbulican POTUS this authority granted him by the constitution. It is sad that Republicans have joined in that effort.

It is not a good thing and we will regret it somewhere down the line. This episode provides evidence of the completion of a fundamental transfer of the US government from We the People to Them Who Shriek Loud Enough.

Blame it on Bush all you want but We did it and We have nobody to slap in the face for it but ourselves.

chuck said...

You gain political capital by winning, and you lose it by losing. In other words, the conservatives gained capital here, and the liberals lost it.

You gain political power by appealing to the voters. The "conservatives" have lost *my* investment and I am a conservative soul. I don't like mobs, I don't like bad manners, and I don't like folks with inflated opinions of their own wonderfulness. I saw all that on the right this time around.

flenser said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
flenser said...

" I don't like bad manners, and I don't like folks with inflated opinions of their own wonderfulness."

Pot, meet kettle. Would you like me to pull up some of your "sexist, elitest, snobs" comments?

So, why do you think affirmative action ought to be upheld by the courts anyway?

flenser said...

Knucklehead

You're almost right. The usurpation of Executive power occured when the Senate forced Bush to accept (1) a sixty vote requirement to get his judges approved, and (2) that he get his nominees "preapproved" by the Senate, so that they would be spared the neccessity of having to make awkward votes in public.

Bush gave in to those demands, which sets a bad precedent for the whole system.

As shocking as this seems to some here, "we the people", as citizens in this republic, do indeed have a right to pressure our employees when we disagree with their actions.

If we don't then all the bloggers and commenters need to just shut up, go about their lives, and leave the important decisions to the politicians. But we all started blogging and commenting because we felt the opposite, that we needed to make our voices heard.

Knucklehead said...

Flenser,

The usurpation of Executive power occured when the Senate forced Bush to accept (1) a sixty vote requirement to get his judges approved, and (2) that he get his nominees "preapproved" by the Senate, so that they would be spared the neccessity of having to make awkward votes in public.

Bush gave in to those demands, which sets a bad precedent for the whole system.


A reasonable adjustment but I'm at a loss about how Bush could have prevented this. The Senate is where this "new" set of rules was made and I see no mechanism for the executive to have stymied this. We can thank, yet again, Specter and McCain. I am really growing to dislike those two intensely and seriously wish I had some way to register that dislike.

As shocking as this seems to some here, "we the people", as citizens in this republic, do indeed have a right to pressure our employees when we disagree with their actions.

Of course we do. Our mechanisms for accomplishing that are free speech and the ballot box. Legal limits on free speech should be few and mild but perhaps some introspection by those of us who exercise free speech are in order. IMHO this was one of those times and a whole lot of people went way beyond considered rendering of free speech and into the realm of braying, bleeting, shouting and raising too much noise. To my senses it was the free-speech equivalent of rioting about a sporting even - uncalled for an inexcusable (with the analogy falling apart, of course, when it comes to the criminality part).

If we don't then all the bloggers and commenters need to just shut up, go about their lives, and leave the important decisions to the politicians. But we all started blogging and commenting because we felt the opposite, that we needed to make our voices heard.

Nobody elected pundits and apparently nobody can get rid of pundits. Where was the shrieking when the Senate was usurping the constitutional power of the executive? Perhaps I missed it but I don't recall the same level of vehemence directed at the Senate for overstepping the boundaries of their power. Was everyone shrieking to the high heavens when the dems decided to prevent votes on judicial nominees? Why didn't the pundits and the blogosphere see fit to raise enough ruckus to get them to back down? (These are rhetorical questions, I don't direct them at you in some expectation that you have answers any more than I do.)

Perhaps I am off base believing that what we need is some toning down of rehetoric. Perhaps the next level, to really become a force of free-speech that brings our government back toward being "of the people, by the people, for the people" is to rachet up the shrieking but direct it everywhere it needs to be directed. At each of the three branches when they get out of line.

Seneca the Younger said...

They have been engaged in exactly this kind of political assassination for the past five years, at least. Why do you assume that they will suddenly feel empowered to do what they have been doing all along?

Why do you assume that what they've been doing is the worst they could do?

Seneca the Younger said...

Bush gave in to those demands, which sets a bad precedent for the whole system.

Flenser, failing Bush sending in the Marines, exactly what do you propose bush could have done?

terrye said...

I am so sick of this bizarre obsession with Roe V Wade.

If they do overturn it, I do not want to see the same frenzied mob that savaged Harriet Miers any where near me and my personal life.

If they try to take it to the state, I will fight them on it. I do not want a bunch of fanatical busy bodies running my life or anyone elses, other than their own.

When I said that I supported the president and his nominee and that nominee's right to a vote I meant it. So when Bush comes up with someone else I will not show my butt even if it is not my special personal favorite.

I mean what I say. I am no hypocrite.

In the future I will show the same respect to the right wing pundits like George Will and Bill Kristol that they showed Miers and Bush.

And I will show the same loyalty for the socalled base that they showed Bush.

Sound fair?

If not I will shriek and scream and call people names and promise to sabotage people and just in general make life hell for anyone who dares disagree with me.

All of a sudden Shumer is sounding a lot less crazy.

That is sad, the right wing of the Republican party accomplished what John Kerry could not, they are making Democrats sound sane again for the first time in years.

And what is more these great believers in the Constitution have succeeded in subverting it and rendering it moot.


So much for the right of the president and the duty of the Senate.

flenser said...

Knucklehead

"Was everyone shrieking to the high heavens when the dems decided to prevent votes on judicial nominees?"

Yes, they were, if by everyone you mean everyone on our side.


"A reasonable adjustment but I'm at a loss about how Bush could have prevented this. "


Bush was re-elected with more votes than any president in US history, while the GOP picked up several seats in the Senate. The courts were a significant issue in this success. Bush could have simply said he was going to nominate who he pleased, and that any senator who bucked him would find a toxic waste dump located in his state, and the WH campaigning against them in their next election.

Previous presidents went over the heads of Congress to the people all the time. Both Reagan and Clinton did this on a regular basis. So I don't accept the argument that Bush is helpless at the hands of a handful of senators. The "pundits" and bloggers, including us, would have been behind him on this.


I am directing my fire at the three branches as they get out of line. There are some who seem to consider any criticism of any branch of governemnt as a threat to the Republic. Let me suggest that it is precisely the role of the citizenry to keep a watchful eye on government and rebuke it when neccessary.

We have just spent several years during which the president has been compared to Hitler and the country to Nazi Germany. I share your desire that the tone of political discourse become more civil, but I thinks its odd to suggest that the opposition to Miers represents some sort of nadir. Yes, the pro-Mires people have been rather annoying, with all the talk of hissy-fits, tantrums, elitist snobs, sexists, and on and on. But thats just normal politics, and I'd never suggest that people don't have a right to engage in it. I would propose that it's counter-productive, as evidenced by the way all the fence sitters tended to go anti-Miers.

terrye said...

flenser:

That is right, the same president that the right wing just cut off at the knees was voted into office by more votes than any other president.

And he helped his party gain majorities.

And the elite of that party punditry repaid him by stabbing him in the back.

Way to go. A real loyal bunch.

BTW that president had a right to his nominee and the people responsible for taking that right away from him are not my allies or people I respect.