Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Harriet Miers

I haven't posted on Harriet Miers yet because I am kind of disgusted with the whole affair. I had hoped for a judge like Justice Thomas. Many conservatives I read and know prefer Scalia to Thomas. Thomas doesn't feel the need to showboat, I like that. Scalia or Thomas though have something in common, they interpret the Constitution on what it says even if it leads them to make rulings that are not one that I'd be happy with otherwise. I expect that both of them will uphold Oregon's assisted suicide law, something I abhor (assisted suicide being nothing short of murder).

Chief Justice Roberts I also expect will rule based on the actuality of what was written rather than legislating from the bench. Will Harriet Miers? This is the question that concerns conservatives far and wide, or should. When people ask would she overturn Roe? Her reasons why or why not matter more than yes or no. Roe should be overturned because it is bad law. That it is morally repugnant makes the law more frustrating, but is not in and of it'self reason to overturn it, that is the job for legislatures. The administration touts Miers as an evangelical Christian as an effort to soothe the base that she will "vote the right way". As an evangelical Christian, let me say that this does not reassure me. Being an evangelical Christian may align her social views closer than mine than say, Glenn Reynolds, but that says nothing to her judicial philosophy.

The good folks at National Review Online have been frustrating with thier Eeyorishness and have sorely tested my patience, as have a number of other people. The argument that she is not the most qualified person to assume the role of justice, an argument that seems preeminent among those crowds, is not one that holds alot of sway with me. She is not, so? John Roberts already has a job. "Qualified" smacks of the elitism that they are so vehemently denying. Outside of the "preeminient legal mind of his generation", there are always going to be disagreements over the who else is qualified. That Miss Miers is not a sitting judge or academic is not a disqualifier. That she lacks a papertrail is also not a disqualifier. She is qualified OK? She's a citizen with a engaged mind. Qualified does not touch whether or not we want her to be the next SCOTUS justice. Ginsberg is qualified, doesn't mean I'm thrilled with her as a justice.

How does Miss Miers view the law and the Constitution? If is it a view which is in harmony with ours (prenumbras and eminations verboten), is she likely to hold firm to that view or not? Those are the two questions and only those two questions, which need to be answered. Then you can rail about Dubya making or breaking promises, delve into cronyism and identity politics and throw rhetorical mud all you want. The President and his team have assured us that we will be happy with the answers to both those questions at her confirmation hearings, we will see.

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