Harriet Miers: The anti-Souter
October 06, 2005
I know I like to dump on Bob Shrum, but the man does occasionally have something useful to say. And it's proof that I'm looking far and wide for something that will help me make up my mind about Miers:
But in honesty, I don't know why the right wing is flapping so furiously. Miers is likely to be the anti-Souter, a nearly anonymous choice who slips onto the Court and then hews the Scalia-Thomas line. Her statement when Bush picked her was drafted carefully to fire off buzz words like "strictly interpret" and hit the bull's-eye of "original intent," the odd notion that the Constitution is not a living document, but a parchment frozen in amber. She donated to a right to life group and led an effort to reverse the American Bar Association's support for Roe v. Wade. (The Republican research machine was putting out that information and Cheney as fast as possible.)
I know, there are a few tea leaves floating on the other side: she was once a Democrat; once donated to a long ago Gore campaign; and when she was running for citywide office in Dallas, filled out a questionnaire saying that gays ought to be treated equally and AIDS ought to be treated and prevented. To the extent this rocks the right wing, I'm left with the question: To be conservative, do you have to be cruel? ...
But I'm convinced Bush clearly understood what he was doing -- and it's liberals and moderates who should be worried as the Judiciary Committee hearings approach. At least, they should be joining the dissident right wingers in demanding that Miers tell the Senate and the nation what Bush already knows -- where she stands on critical Constitutional doctrines.
Otherwise, all my side will be left with is the faint hope that Harriet Miers, who apparently called President Bush the "most brilliant" person she's known, will decide that Justice Stephen Breyer is the second most brilliant. But I'm not betting on it. [LINK]I agree.