George Will On Harriet Miers

I don’t always agree with Will but I think that he is a very fine writer and is good at providing substance and detail. He provides some solid reasons why Miers should not be approved as a justice.

It is not important that she be confirmed because there is no evidence that she is among the leading lights of American jurisprudence, or that she possesses talents commensurate with the Supreme Court’s tasks. The president’s “argument” for her amounts to: Trust me. There is no reason to, for several reasons.

He has neither the inclination nor the ability to make sophisticated judgments about competing approaches to construing the Constitution. Few presidents acquire such abilities in the course of their pre-presidential careers, and this president particularly is not disposed to such reflections.

Furthermore, there is no reason to believe that Miers’s nomination resulted from the president’s careful consultation with people capable of such judgments. If 100 such people had been asked to list 100 individuals who have given evidence of the reflectiveness and excellence requisite in a justice, Miers’s name probably would not have appeared in any of the 10,000 places on those lists.

In addition, the president has forfeited his right to be trusted as a custodian of the Constitution. The forfeiture occurred March 27, 2002, when, in a private act betokening an uneasy conscience, he signed the McCain-Feingold law expanding government regulation of the timing, quantity and content of political speech. The day before the 2000 Iowa caucuses he was asked — to ensure a considered response from him, he had been told in advance that he would be asked — whether McCain-Feingold’s core purposes are unconstitutional. He unhesitatingly said, “I agree.” Asked if he thought presidents have a duty, pursuant to their oath to defend the Constitution, to make an independent judgment about the constitutionality of bills and to veto those he thinks unconstitutional, he briskly said, “I do.”

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  1. Jack's Shack October 9, 2005 at 7:44 pm

    I still have no answers to this. I have yet to hear anything that makes a shred of sense to me.

  2. soccerdad October 8, 2005 at 1:08 am

    It really truly is a mystery why Bush nominated her. I’ve had a lot of conversations with people this week and everybody is at a loss as to why. I can think of only two reasons … first, it’s a reward to a loyal supporter (which would be a horrible reason to nominate somebody to the U.S. Supreme Court) or second, that he nominated her fully planning on withdrawing the nomination at some point and nominating somebody else (which doesn’t speak well to the integrity of the process).

    If somebody can think of a credible and positive spin on why he nominated her I’d love to hear it.

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