Opposing Hariett Miers

I have never really waded into a debate about Supreme Court nominees before.  On John Roberts, my only comment was to laugh at how stupid the Senate confirmation hearings were.

This time, I feel the need to make an exception on Hariett Miers.  In a previous post, I called her the anti-libertarian, and more than ever I am convinced that that assessment is correct.  Everyone inside of the beltway seems to love talking points, so here are mine:

Furthermore, there is no reason to believe that Miers's nomination
resulted from the president's careful consultation with people capable of such
judgments. If 100 such people had been asked to list 100 individuals who have
given evidence of the reflectiveness and excellence requisite in a justice,
Miers's name probably would not have appeared in any of the 10,000 places on
those lists....

It is important that Miers not be confirmed unless, in her 61st year,
she suddenly and unexpectedly is found to have hitherto undisclosed interests
and talents pertinent to the court's role. Otherwise the sound principle of
substantial deference to a president's choice of judicial nominees will dissolve
into a rationalization for senatorial abdication of the duty to hold presidents
to some standards of seriousness that will prevent them from reducing the
Supreme Court to a private plaything useful for fulfilling whims on behalf of

  • She threatens to be a judicial Pat Buchanon:  Conservative on social issues, interventionist on economic issues.  In other words, the anti-libertarian.  From John Fund:

One White House
source says the positions she took in staff meetings might surprise her
business supporters. He said she leaned conservative on social
questions and liberal on economic issues. Bruce Packard, a former
partner at Ms. Miers' law firm, also cautions that she may be more
complicated than people expect. 'She is very reticent to ever discuss
her own views and liberal on issues other than abortion,' he told me."

  • Though not discussed very much, her leadership of the Texas Bar Association, which is touted as perhaps her highest judicial qualification (interesting, since its just a bureaucrat job) makes me very very nervous.  Someone is going to have to try to get control of the tort situation and start resetting the rules of courtroom procedure to bring more sanity to liability trials.  I guarantee that a person who headed the Texas Bar Association, home of some of the most outrageous millionaire tort lawyers in the country, is not going to do anything to bring sanity to tort law.

As a note, I don't really cast my vote one way or the other based on abortion -- I have a viewpoint on it, but its not my hot-button, or even in my top 10, issues.  However, I kind of hope Miers turns out to be clearly anti-abortion so that Democrats will find a reason to join some Republicans in opposing her.  Until that happens, Democrats seem to be following Napoleon's dictum of not interrupting your enemy when he is making a mistake.

Update:  Dahlia Lithwick and I would probably not agree on the reasons for opposing Miers, but you have to love this quote, explaining why she gets paid and I do this for free:

So I am begging now. This is embarrassing. End it. Karl Rove: Either plant the
500 pounds of cocaine you keep for such occasions in Miers' car, or trot out
some actress to play her bitter, gay ex-lover. You have the power to end this.
So do whatever it is you do. But end the unnecessary pain and suffering now,
before someone really gets hurt.

Update #2:  I oppose the Miers nomination.  Hopefully, this gets me registered for this page by NZ Bear, tracking blog positions.