Monday, October 17, 2005

Miers should withdraw

Or the Senate should not confirm her (absent the most unlikeliest of performances at her confirmation hearing), or Bush should withdraw the nomination. Of course, you've heard this before. Dennis Coyle on NRO sums up best why we got Miers, and why the nomination is so bad:

"Perhaps President Bush was conflating liberal dominion over constitutional law and activist courts since the New Deal with intellectualism. That is easy to do, given the pervasiveness of liberal ideology in legal scholarship and academia more broadly. It is tempting to blame the root for the branch. If the liberal jurisprudential establishment emerged from elite schools and journals and spoke in large words and grand theory, the thinking might go, it can only be tamed by reaching outside the Washington-New York intelligentsia to let some Texas common sense cut them down to size.

But law, unlike politics, is inescapably an intellectual exercise, and reason is the bedrock of the rule of law. It is about the careful articulation of principles and nuanced applications, made persuasive by a compelling understanding of the constitutional order and the role of courts. Law is not molded simply by the votes of judges and justices, but in the power and cogency of written opinions and the philosophy they express, which become the fodder of law-review articles, commentaries, and conference panels, and eventually permeate the classroom teaching that forms the next generation of judges, lawyers and scholars. To bypass the opportunity to strengthen a conservative intellectual core — an elite — on the Court is not to make it a populist protector of freedom, but to abandon the field to the liberal elite. If the president does not appreciate this, there is no reassurance another nominee would be any better, and Democrats would surely feel more liberated then to jump on any candidate of substance."

Mr. Coyle is all doom and gloom, but only if Miers is confirmed. I heartily join him in his sentiments - if Bush gave us Miers from the list of rock solid studs he had to choose from, we cannot expect a solid nominee ever. Bush has three years left. Breyer, Souter, Ginsburg and Kennedy aren't going anywhere. Ditto Thomas, Scalia and Roberts. Stevens is 85, but he'll stay on until he dies. He looked in pretty good shape throwing out a first pitch at Wrigley Field a few months ago. This means that a Republican President needs to win in 2008 (c'mon George Allen!) who will actually nominate justices like Scalia and Thomas. That means no Condi, no Pataki, no Giuliani, no Romney. If Miers is confirmed, we are doomed.

UPDATE: Ok, after reading this, take Romney off the list. Mitt in '08!


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