10.04.2005

GEORGE WILL IS RIGHT (TODAY), OPPOSE HARRIET MIERS: Call The Judiciary Committee To Bottle Up or Tank This Nominee

President Bush has made a terrible decision. Harriet Miers does not deserve to be confirmed to the Supreme Court. Unfortunately, we cannot trust all 55 Republican Senators to stand up for their principles and oppose Bush's terrible choice. Remember, this is the Republican Senate that was too yellow-bellied to use "the Nuclear Option."

Therefore, we must use "strategery." Miers must at least be bottled up "in committee." Holding up her hearing will take no more than the courage of one Senator. But the political pressure will be too great for any lone Senator to withstand. A Supreme Court nominee is a far cry from the interim head of the Food and Drug Administration. Therefore, we must diversify.

Miers' nomination can be tanked if a majority of the Judiciary Committee votes against sending her nomination to the full Senate to be voted up-or-down. This is fair. While nominees for the federal judiciary like Janice Rogers Brown and Priscilla Owen deserved an up-or-down vote on the Senate floor, Harriet Miers for the Supreme Court of the United States does not. See http://www.professorbainbridge.com/2005/10/hewitts_still_w.html#comments

I repeat: Harriet Miers does not deserve a up-or-down vote on the floor of the Senate. She does not deserve the benefit of open and public deliberation. She deserves to be held up in committee because she never should have been nominated. George Will is right about the Miers nomination in this Washinton Post column. See http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/10/04/AR2005100400954.html

There is one question and one question only to be answered: which members of the Judiciary Committee should be politically pressured to vote against Miers? After all, we must focus our resources to be most effective.*

Senator Brownback. He is running for President in 2008, or he would like to. He distinguished himself capably in questioning John Roberts on the Court's inconsistent First Amendment jurisprudence. He obviously cares about the quality of the jurisprudents who ascend to the Court. Call him at 202-224-6521.

Senator Coburn. He is a true conservative who was elected by keeping his ear to the grass roots. He understands the conservative base that Bush is no longer concerned with appeasing because he is not up for elction in 2006. Senator Coburn should be responsive to the sincere concerns of true conservatives. Call him at 202-224-5754.

Senator Kyl. Kyl is a strict constructionist who could have been nominated in Harriet Miers' stead. It is to his benefit to tank her nomination. Call him at (202) 224-4521.

Senator Sessions. Sessions has been cautious in his statements, saying that he looks forward "to learning more about [Miers'] judicial philosophy". He knows what is at stake. He himself was nominated for the bench. He will not support a nominee who is dying on the vine. Call him at (202) 224-4124.

Senator Hatch. It is not possible that Senator Hatch believes that Harriet Miers is a distinguished and qualified candidate. He is grinning and bearing it because he believes that deferring to the President is a public good. He should defer to the Federalist Society's rank-and-file instead. The likelihood is that Harriet Miers would not have been nominated had Hatch still been Judiciary Committee Chairman. Call him at (202) 224-5251.

Senator Biden. Senator Biden is running for President and needs a way to distinguish himself from other primary challengers to Hillary in 2008. Opposition to Miers on the basis of her lack of qualifications provides the perfect opportunity for him to ingratiate himself to centrists and right of center folks who do not know that he is a Democrat. Call him at 202-224-5042.

Senator Feinstein. There is no reason for her to support a woman who will be an embarrassment on the Court. She will care that this appointment could be a setback for women. It is not that Miers could be a pro-life radical; it is that what few legal writings of hers we have seen are incompetently drafted. See http://www.volokh.com/posts/1128491510.shtml Miers is no Maureen Mahoney or Mary Ann Glendon, both of whom would be brilliant female jurists. Call her at (202) 224-3841.

*It is a given that Senator Kennedy will vote our way in exchange for cocktails.