October 3, 2005
Harriet Ellen Miers: Now We Will Witness "Confirmation by Rumor"
I knew something was up last week when Ms. Miers name surfaced late last week on the lists of potential nominees. Who is she?? Where did she come from?? I noted. Uh-oh. It had all the ear marks of a purposeful, leaked out rumor.
With today's nomination of Ms. Miers, those on the right not on the inside (on the list of those consulted) will want assurances. There is no public record. Will she be a conservative, the counterbalance to Justice Ginsberg? That's what the right wants, their own version of Justice Ginsberg. [Justice Ginsberg was the ACLU lawyer who wanted to do away with Mother's day as being too gender defining.] The only way the right will know whether to support this pick by Bush is to be told by their leaders the "inside skinny." It will be assurance by rumor and by reference to the need to "trust" the President. Since the President's views on border control and government spending have stretched the "trust" of the right to the breaking point, the rumors will be more important. This means that the insiders on the right (Rev. so and so or talk show host so and so) will have extraordinary influence and a high public profile. Great. I am not looking forward to multiple interviews of these jokers, who will use there public podium to say all sorts of other hair brained political stuff.
The left will wait. What are the rumors on the right??? In other words, the opposition of the left will be based on the rumors fed out by the right to their public members. Conference hearings will be choice as Kennedy says I must vote against Miers because I heard that "that Rev. X told his congregation that Miers' views on abortion are anti-women rights."
This will be a confirmation fight based on rumor. President Bush has made a huge mistake here. The only way to stop this is for Bush himself to make a public case based on a discussion of details. He will have to enter the debate himself not just on the merits, but to establish what the merits are.
As a side-light, consider what this type of nomination says to conservative judges who have lived with their views out in the open, who have walked the walk, stood up for their beliefs, and taken the abuse. Suckers all.
For my take on John Roberts, visit my post entitled: The Supreme Court, Judge Roberts and Business