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Harriet Miers: This is the Best?

If a second term president caves in on a major appointment before any whining from the minority party actually takes place, is it still pandering? Or do we need another term? Perhaps “executive preemptive surrender” will do.

Its not that Harriet Miers is unqualified in any way. The fact that she is outside the usual network of Supreme Court appointees could make her a refreshing voice. Its not that she is 60, which will necessarily limit her influence. Its not even that she is a Bush crony; indeed, many presidents have been disappointed when they nominated strangers whose greatest asset was a thumbs-up from the ABA. Here, Bush can have some confidence that he knows the heart of his appointee.

The trouble with Harriet Miers is that she is not Michael McConnell, Edith Jones or Michael Luttig. The goal of realigning the Court to conform to a more humble vocation is only part of the equation. The main responsibility of any president is to elevate the best and brightest to positions of power. When “confirmability” and “predicatablity” assume paramount importance, the battle is already lost. That is the shallow thinking that got us into this mess.

The best judicial minds are conservative. The long string of liberal misrepresentations delivered over the last half century are not onerous and reprehensible to conservatives merely because we disagree. They earn contempt because they are poorly reasoned and do violence to our constitutional order. The Bush administration has surrendered this high ground without a fight.

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on October 3, 2005 9:20 AM.

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