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OP/ED: The Miers Conundrum

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posted on Oct, 12 2005 @ 02:07 PM
George W. Bush's appointment of Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court of the United States has caused a confusing political situation the likes of which our country hasn't seen in recent years. Politicians who are normally fierce opponents could form a coalition to defeat her nomination as the president's reliable allies turn against him on this crucial issue.

The Issue

The Supreme Court of the United States is the highest court in the land and the head of the third branch of our government. Often referred to as the “anti-democratic” branch, it is composed of people who are completely unaccountable to the people or to any politicians once they are seated for their life terms.

Associate Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, the first female member of the Court, was appointed by Ronald Reagan and confirmed by the Senate on September 21, 1981. She earned a reputation as one of the most influential members of the Court as she was a swing vote and often was the deciding vote in a great many landmark 5-4 decisions.

O’Connor announced her retirement in 2005, somewhat unexpectedly since the White House was planning to name a replacement to the ailing Chief Justice William Rehnquist, a quite reliable conservative vote on the Court, as its first Supreme Court nominee (there were no high court openings during Bush’s first term). President Bush then named the District of Columbia Circuit Court Judge John Roberts to succeed her as Associate Justice. But before Senate confirmation hearings for Roberts began, the Chief Justice died and the President decided to change the Roberts nomination from Associate Justice to Chief Justice, leaving the O’Connor position open again. John Roberts was easily confirmed as Chief Justice of the United States by the Senate with broad bipartisan support on September 29, 2005.

With the O’Connor position needing to be filled again, the President came under pressure from all sides with suggestions for a replacement. Many women (including his wife, Laura) wanted another woman on the court; others said a minority, such as a Hispanic would be the right choice. Right wing conservative groups focused on getting a reliable conservative judge with a good paper trail whom they thought would advance their causes.

In the end, Bush chose his White House counsel, Harriet Miers to fill the position. Unlike the Roberts nomination, that was received quite well, this has caused a firestorm of controversy, ironically mainly among Bush’s traditional supporters. Here are some quotes from some leading influential American conservatives:

… her qualifications for the Supreme Court are non-existent. She is not a brilliant jurist, indeed, has never been a judge. She is not a scholar of the law. Researchers are hard-pressed to dig up an opinion. She has not had a brilliant career in politics, the academy, the corporate world or public forum. Were she not a friend of Bush, and female, she would never have even been considered.

Patrick Buchanan

I'M DISAPPOINTED, depressed and demoralized.

William Kristol

If Harriet Miers were not a crony of the president of the United States, her nomination to the Supreme Court would be a joke, as it would have occurred to no one else to nominate her.

Charles Krauthammer

First, it is not important that she be confirmed. Second, it might be very important that she not be. Third, the presumption -- perhaps rebuttable but certainly in need of rebutting -- should be that her nomination is not a defensible exercise of presidential discretion to which senatorial deference is due.

George Will

I eagerly await the announcement of President Bush's real nominee to the Supreme Court. If the president meant Harriet Miers seriously, I have to assume Bush wants to go back to Crawford and let Dick Cheney run the country.

Unfortunately for Bush, he could nominate his Scottish terrier Barney, and some conservatives would rush to defend him, claiming to be in possession of secret information convincing them that the pooch is a true conservative and listing Barney's many virtues — loyalty, courage, never jumps on the furniture ...

Harriet Miers went to Southern Methodist University Law School, which is not ranked at all by the serious law school reports and ranked No. 52 by US News and World Report. Her greatest legal accomplishment is being the first woman commissioner of the Texas Lottery.

Ann Coulter

Just to name a few.

My Opinion

The Miers nomination needs to be axed as soon as possible. I hope she’s smart enough to realize this fact herself to spare the President the need to do it himself. He’s so fiercely independent and stubborn, he might not even be capable of doing it himself.

So many Republican conservatives have put their life’s work into getting to the point where we can really turn the Court and therefore the direction of the nation’s jurisprudence, and they haven’t put so much blood, sweat and tears into that endeavor to have it pissed away by Bush cronyism. There are so many highly qualified jurists such as Janice Rogers Brown of the D.C. Circuit or Priscilla Owen of the 5th Circuit with clear conservative backgrounds and stellar resumes, there was absolutely no need for this dubious pick. Who knows, Miers could end up being another Scalia or Thomas vote-wise if she got on the Court, but she clearly doesn't have the acumen nor experience to write compelling opinions that really make a real impact on the American legal system, which is what we really need.

Of course many Democrats are equally as unsettled with the vagueness of her record, but are in a bind since a replacement candidate would likely have a clear record of conservatism if Miers does go down.

This nomination must die, whether it be a clean and easy withdrawal by the White House or a bloody battle in the Senate. In the words of Bush’s father, this will not stand. If it does, it could spell doom for our new Republican majority.

[edit on 10/12/2005 by djohnsto77]

posted on Oct, 12 2005 @ 02:21 PM
Hey I say let her stay. Exactly what kind of harm could she do? Could you list some scenarios from what you know about her which would render her incompetent in any case? A judge is simply there to hear both sides of a story and make the fair decision based on the facts as far as I am concerned. I have been to court for crimes in my juvenile years and I did not know anything about the Judge's past career or credibilities. He was simply there listening to both sides of the story and made a decision based on the facts. Don't see whats the big deal.

posted on Oct, 12 2005 @ 02:31 PM
The latest reasoning behind Bush's nomination of Miers is she's the only fundie that would except the job.

Bush says religion a factor in Miers nomination Houston Chronicle

Miers Chosen After Others Withdrew, White House Says Bloomberg

Bush crony with no judicial experience

posted on Oct, 12 2005 @ 02:59 PM
Sorry DYepes, but there's absolutely no comparison between some juvenile state court judicial position and the Supreme Court of the United States. First of all the SCOTUS mainly doesn't decide any facts, only arcane legal issues.

It's a place for great minds, not mediocre cronies.

[edit on 10/12/2005 by djohnsto77]

posted on Oct, 12 2005 @ 03:06 PM
I have to agree with the majority opinion expressed here. I have nothing personally against her, it's just that she doesn't have any background or qualifications to be part of the supreme legal body in the United States. She might be great at the job, but who knows!? Let her be a lesser court judge for a while and maybe she can prove herself to be worthy of this position.

posted on Oct, 12 2005 @ 03:07 PM
Very nice treatment dj. Thank you.

Because of the nature of the Supreme Court, judges must be, and must be seen to be, of exemplary character and accomplishment. Miers doesn't fill the bill.

posted on Oct, 12 2005 @ 03:24 PM
Miers nomination has an agenda, if you have seen the news on Rove and Dobson talks, then you will understand what the whole thing is about.

Had Dobson received an assurance from Rove that Miers, now the White House counsel, would vote to overturn Roe v. Wade? Democrats suspected so, and said they would call Dobson as a witness at her confirmation hearing, which is likely to begin late this month or in early November.

Miers is refer by the million dollar seller of "Dare to Dicipline"as.

1. Harriet Miers is an Evangelical Christian

2. She is from a very conservative church, which is almost universally pro-life the is the best qualification of all

3. She had taken on the American Bar Association on the issue of abortion and fought for a policy that would not be supportive of abortion.

4. She had been a member of the Texas Right to Life.

So there you have it these are Ms. Miers qualifications enough to keep the moral majority happy. and occurs one of the best contributors the Focus on the Family founder, Dobson.

It seems that Rove can not keep his big mouth close.

Is trouble brewing in the confirmation of Miers and she perhaps would not be able to stand the heat.

Shadow President Karl Rove Calls to Discuss Miers Nomination with Real President James Dobson

posted on Oct, 12 2005 @ 03:24 PM
Dosen't it make you question the competentcy of the President and his advisers? Loyalty is one thing but what was he thinking. I'm sure Ms. Miers is a very nice woman. This is beginning to look like the FEMA appointment where loyalty trumps good judgement.

posted on Oct, 12 2005 @ 03:26 PM
Any opinions on who would be a good nominee?

posted on Oct, 12 2005 @ 03:30 PM
Well even when is many other great candidates in the list before Miers, the excused given is that many took themselves out of the list of candidates because the process has become vicious and vitriolic, many of them don’t want to become subject of such bitterness and neither their families.

posted on Oct, 12 2005 @ 03:33 PM

Originally posted by Desert Dawg
Any opinions on who would be a good nominee?

Well i mentioned Janice Rogers Brown and Priscilla Owen. There are many others, such as Edith Jones.

Hell, even Alberto Gonzales would be a much better pick than Miers.

[edit on 10/12/2005 by djohnsto77]

posted on Oct, 12 2005 @ 05:11 PM

Originally posted by djohnsto77
My Opinion

The Miers nomination needs to be axed as soon as possible.

But what about the Mullahs on the Mosquetops telling you to support Miers or else?

Pro-Miers Right Wing Outrage

On today's "700 Club" broadcast, the Rev. Pat Robertson responded to criticism from the Right regarding the Miers nomination and also offered a stern warning to those conservative senators who might be thinking of voting against her. Rev. Robertson suggested that people should look at who is supporting Miers before they doubt her conservative credentials. He named James Dobson, the Rev. Jerry Falwell, Richard Land of the Southern Baptist Convention, Jay Sekulow of the Robertson-founded American Center for Law and Justice, and himself as proof of support for Miers' nomination from the Right. Robertson concluded by noting: "These so-called movement conservatives don't have much of a following, the ones that I'm aware of. And you just marvel, these are the senators, some of them who voted to confirm the general counsel of the ACLU to the Supreme Court, and she was voted in almost unanimously. And you say, `now they're going to turn against a Christian who is a conservative picked by a conservative President and they're going to vote against her for confirmation.' Not on your sweet life, if they want to stay in office."

So who's running this dog & pony show called the "conservative majority" anyway?

Bush, Congress, "So-called movement conservatives" (I think Robertson meant "process" aka RINO), the Religious Right, televangelists, big business or the American people?

On behalf of the latter, this public spectacle is better than anything Jerry Springer ever staged.
~quack, quack

posted on Oct, 12 2005 @ 05:14 PM
Well, now I'm convinced...if the televangelists want her, we definitely don't!

posted on Oct, 12 2005 @ 05:23 PM
Well, if it's any consolation to the gang of neocons and conservatives quoted in djohnsto's op/ed, I have a feeling Meirs is very soundly in the conservative camp. Unlike Roberts, Bush has had a running dialogue with Meirs for some time now (as she was White House counsel). He's had a great opportunity to sound her out personally, something he didn't have in the case of Roberts. IMO, her lack of record is not a concern to Bush because he already knows what kind of person she is (in fact, it works in her favor in getting the approval of moderates and liberals). However, I share the concerns regarding her lack of experience. I think with all the senior judges on the bench throughout America, it's very surprising that someone with no bench experience should be chosen for this positition. I hear she had to take a CPE course in Con Law to prep for the Senate hearings- not a good sign.

At the end of the day, though, I think few Supreme Court justices turn out the way the presidents who appointed them fully expected, so I guess we'll just have to wait and see...

-koji K.

[edit on 12-10-2005 by koji_K]

posted on Oct, 12 2005 @ 05:29 PM
I actually can not wait to see her during the hearings I think that she will stick to "I don't have to answer that" but the pressure is going to take the best of her.

Yes, she has never argue a case before and that is what's going to happen she will be drill as if she was a defendant.

Robert was all charm and good looks and he knew what to expect because he has been there before in a court room.

This time is not going to be the same.

[edit on 12-10-2005 by marg6043]

posted on Oct, 12 2005 @ 05:44 PM
koji_K, that would require total confidence not only in Bush's "gut" but completely ignoring Mier's long history of blowing smoke up people's skirts as a sheer opportunist.

Of course she joined a conservative Christian church after she became Bush's bestest buddy. Did you read any of those exchanges from her as Texas Lottery Commissioner with then Governor Bush?

NYT has 20,000 pages of fawning utter crap calling him "Cool" and thanking him for her job pushing scratch off tickets in liquor stores.

I don't know.

Unqualified? Absolutley. A Christian conservative fundamentalist? Possible, but highly doubtful. Though that's a role many are willing to play for a long, long time while it suits them, after getting appointed to an immovable position? They never do. Hehe.

Once she's seperated from Bush and the most important thing in her life then becomes pleasing whatever legal aid writes her opinions, she'll morph again. And again. And again. Pleasing Bush won't matter one bit in about 3 years if that long. Bush who? We're talking a lifetime appointment here.

But I do think it's funny how the evangelicals are chastising the very movement they supposedly represent. If anyone ever doubted these TV preachers are anything more than a front for Big Business and a clearing house for ROVE propaganda, here's your proof. Chri$tian conservatism indeed. There's Miers qualifications right there. And all Bush cares about.

Pushing lottery tickets in liquor stores and Chri$tian things like that.

[edit on 12-10-2005 by RANT]

posted on Oct, 12 2005 @ 05:56 PM
It is hard to believe this is a serious nomination. The president must know she doesn't have much of a chance of being confirmed by the Senate. Perhaps this nomination is just a means to create a distracting spectacle for a few months.

[edit on 12-10-2005 by Astronomer68]

posted on Oct, 12 2005 @ 05:59 PM
Oh, my, I read some of the papers even b-day cards kissing up to Bush and his family.

I love one that tells that Bush daughter should be happy to have such cool parents like bush and his wife.

I thing Miers is a fake and she is just looking for opportunity, but not even in her wildest dream she though that she would rise from bringing coffee and donuts to be on a life time justice seat.

It pays to kiss up to the right person .

[edit on 12-10-2005 by marg6043]

posted on Oct, 12 2005 @ 06:04 PM

Originally posted by RANT
koji_K, that would require total confidence not only in Bush's "gut" but completely ignoring Mier's long history of blowing smoke up people's skirts as a sheer opportunist.

Remember how Bush looked into Putin's soul? I feel an unpleasant similarity first I was unsure and giving this the benefit of the doubt, but after closer inspection, there's no way I can support this nomination. She's simply not qualified and a total wildcard.

[edit on 10/12/2005 by djohnsto77]

posted on Oct, 13 2005 @ 09:18 AM
The fact that she is the President's personal lawyer, and has been therefore, privy to all sorts of 'inside' dealings, leads me to her nomination a result of that knowledge.

Is she being given this carrot in exchange for her future loyalty and/or silence in certain matters? Or would this put her in a position to make her most useful when any future s*** might hit the fan, if any member in the present administration might find themselves needing a high ranking legal friend??

She just seems to displease sooo many that normally back the President, that I wonder what we're missing????

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