Thursday, October 06, 2005

Will the conservatives blow a stealth nomination?

Ross Mackenzie wrote in Townhall .... Ideology? She is not a movement conservative, which dismays primarily . . . movement conservatives who had demanded that the next court nominee be one of them.

Bench experience? She joins Earl Warren, Whizzer White, William Rehnquist and Lewis Powell in boasting none; indeed, if confirmed, Miers would become, among the 54 justices confirmed since 1900, the 24th without any prior judicial experience.

I am not upset that she never was a judge. My only regret is that she is a lawyer.
Resume? Hers reads a lot like Sandra O'Connor's without the state court experience, or Lewis Powell's as a leader of legal groups (including the American Bar Association) and chairman of the Richmond School Board.

The Miers resume features these entries: at or close to the top of her undergraduate and law-school classes at Southern Methodist; law review; member of the Dallas City Council; first woman president of the Dallas Bar Association, the Texas Bar Association and the Texas State Bar (some say she easily could have tracked to the presidency of the ABA, as well); the first woman hired by a leading Dallas law firm founded in the 19th century and ultimately its managing partner; named by the National Law Journal as one of the "50 Most Influential Women Lawyers in America."

In addition, Harriet Miers . . . As White House counsel has earned the praise of senators left and right; oversaw the selection and nomination process that led to the confirmation of Roberts; has worked with Bush for more than a decade; and so, as a loyal Bush confidante, has won from him this ultimate accolade - as did Dick Cheney, who chaired Bush's team to find a vice-presidential nominee, as well as longtime aides Condoleezza Rice (who went on to become secretary of state), Margaret Spellings (secretary of education), Karen Hughes (undersecretary of state for public diplomacy) and Alberto Gonzales (attorney general).
Karen would not have taken it, because her family does not like living in Washington, and we may need Condi to face off against Hillary. Would conservatives have preferred Alberto Gonzales?
George Bush is a conviction pol. At his Tuesday press conference he said, "I'm still a conservative, proudly so." He also is an instinct pol: He tends to go with his instincts about people, and in his same press conference, he said of Harriet Miers: "I know her heart" and, implicitly addressing the maxim that if one is not actively conservative he or she tends to drift left, as Sandra O'Connor has: "Her philosophy won't change."

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