Monday, October 10, 2005

The Miers nomination continuing to fracture conservatives.

I have already written about the Miers nomination and my one, overriding concern about her being confirmed to the Supreme Court. I am informed by a reader that there have been cases in recent history where "Justice" was the first title of judgeship worn by person. Reader Waco Kid tells us:

::::::::There've been some pretty good Supreme Court Justices for whom Supreme Court Justice was a first job as a judge. Robert Jackson, William Rehnquist, just to name two. And John Roberts has been a judge for what, a year and a half? He promises to be an outstanding Chief Justice. It's probably no coincidence that Jackson had Rehnquist for a clerk, and Rehnquist had Roberts. Each of the latter two seems to have learned from his mentor lessons that don't require previous experience as a judge.

But what does seem to matter is experience in considering the sort of issues which come before the Court -- constitutional issues. Jackson, Rehnquist and Roberts all had lots of that experience before joining the Court. If Miers has had that sort of experience, then the conclusion (premature, of course) we could make now is that she does not have the intellectual discipline required of a Justice who would help move the Court back into its proper role as an interpreter of law, rather than its self-asserted role as policy-maker. Without knowing more, we can only surmise that the president's actions in signing the McCain-Feingold Act, and in supporting racial affirmative action for the purpose of achieving racial diversity (rather than for the more limited purpose of providing a remedy for harm caused by identifiable racial discrimination) were taken with Miers thumbs up. If this is true, then we might as well let Ruth Bader Ginsburg pick one of her ACLU buddies for the Court.

Excellent points, and they dovetail with my concern perfectly. Jackson and Rehnquist, as pointed out, might not have been judges before their nomination, but their close working relationship to the high court gave them plenty of experience in how things work there from the Justices' perspectives. If Miers had such a previous mentoring relationship with someone on the Supreme Court, I haven't heard about it. It would be a fairly significant datapoint, too, so I would think the Bush administration would be plastering that all over the walls. They aren't. I conclude she doesn't have such a relationship under her belt.

More to the point of my concern is the part about Miers' role in supporting the "diversity" crap from the University of Michigan cases (see the Bollinger case, specifically). I don't know if she was involved in advising the President to sign the accursed McCain-Feingold Act. If she was, and said she supported it, then she's precisely the kind of person I'd want as far away from the Supreme Court as is humanly possible. The reader's point, and my own, is that we don't have the information to make the call and that is unacceptable in a nominee to the Supreme Court. That President Bush and the Miers supporters don't know this is troubling. More troubling is their resort to name-calling when concerns like these are raised. (I'm an "elitist"? That's being insensitive to elitists, trust me.)

Ed Morrisey of Captain's Quarters had an editorial in the Washington Post yesterday that sums up the conflict in the realm of the Right pretty well. Michelle Malkin has her excellent-as-usual roundup of the situation over on her blog. She's got a link up to an informal survey over on RightWingNews. The disappointment with this nomination isn't the sole domain of, as Hugh Hewitt has said, the right-wing elitists, or as other bloggers have called them, "the right-wing fanatics." It's much more pervasive than that. President Bush better get ahead of this one and work on the fractures that he, himself, has caused in the party's base. Otherwise, he's going to leave a very broken road for those that follow.