HARRIET MIERS [John Podhoretz]
I am going to assume that this is a classic Bush head-fake gambit. If I’m wrong, I will spend the weekend banging my head against a concrete wall. This is the Supreme Court we’re talking about! It’s not a job for a political functionary!
Posted at 10:40 AM
Now, in many ways, John Roberts was not the candidate I would’ve chosen in my Tooth Fairy dreams. But he came off as an impeccably well-qualified pick. What’s depressing here is that the debate over Miers is almost certainly going to be about teasing out her legal views and trying to figure out whether she’s going to rule the “right” way on this or that issue, rather than over what you’d think would be a screamingly obvious problem: Someone whose only qualifications (beyond a pair of X chromosomes) are fanatical loyalty to the president and decent lawyering skills is the right choice for White House counsel—not the highest court in the land. Something about “former Texas lottery commissioner” feels a bit too close to “former head of an Arabian horse association.” Yes, I know, this won’t be the first time a non-judge has been nominated, not even the first crony pick. But as for the former, there’s usually some other compensating experience relevant to Constiutional jurisprudence, and regarding the latter, that others have done the same seems like a poor excuse for treating so lightly the responsibility to pick a member of the country’s final legal authority. I can only imagine that the rest of the Court’s members feel vaguely like the Roman Senate did when Caligula added his horse to their number. It’s sad to contemplate that there’s virtually no chance that a few Republicans might object, not because Miers is insufficiently conservative, but because the Supreme Court isn’t supposed to be a source of cushy patronage jobs for the president’s mediocre buddies. I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say that this nomination is an insult to the Court.
UPDATE: From Todd Zywicki:
At the time [of my previous predictions for the nominee], of course, I had assumed that some minimum degree of luminescence would be required, in addition to Presidential trust. Little did I know that being close to the President would turn out to be the sole criteria for nomination to the Supreme Court.