Thursday, October 06, 2005


Marvin Olasky wrote in Townhall If I were king of the forest, I'd probably nominate to the Supremes another Justice Scalia, ready to rumble with rhetorical brilliance against the legal theorists of the left. As a journalist, I like a good fight and tend to be a splitter rather than a lumper. I've also seen the Bush administration mess up on some things I care deeply about, and have said so publicly. So why haven't I joined the furious attacks on Harriet Miers' capabilities?

Maybe it's the judicial implications of her evangelical faith, unseen on the court in recent decades. Friends who know Miers well testify to her internal compass that includes a needle pointed toward Christ.

Which is a very good place for your internal compass to point.
Again, Texas Supreme Court Justice Nathan Hecht told me she has a philosophy that grows out of evangelical exegesis and carries over into legal issues: "She's an originalist -- that's the way she takes the Bible," and that's her approach to the Constitution as well. "Originalist -- it means what it says."

This goes far beyond the question of "identity politics" (let's give a spot to an evangelical).
And rather that engaging in rhetorical debate with legal theorists of the left, maybe a strong evangelicist can bring some of them to Christ.
The question about any new Supreme is whether the person's compass needle will turn to Washington's heavy metal once a lifetime court position is in hand and constraints are off. A track record is no guarantee, especially if a nominee is a social butterfly who will be swayed not only by Washington dinner-table conversation, but by the good reviews a justice can get from top law journals and, down-the-road, liberal historians.
Satan may provide good reviews, but Miers knows where to look.
Friends and colleagues say Miers is not likely to pay much heed to how Ivy League law professors could praise her if she only "evolves" by becoming liberal. Miers has never run in those circles, and as one White House associate put it, "she's almost uniquely unaffected by Potomac fever." That's because, her friends say, she's centered on Christ.... But give Bush credit for going beyond the assumption that the person who would be the best constitutional law professor makes the best nominee. He has not only nominated a justice, but implicitly called for a paradigm shift in conservative thinking.

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