We’re sitting this dance out

The Miers dance, that is. But we recommend Beldar and Thomas Lifson, and the admonition of Bruce Kesler as antidotes to the conservative snobs, negativists, and those who secretly believe that Chimpy is actually a dunce. We do disagree with this view of John Hinderaker:

Republican Presidents should be known for putting the most highly qualified, brilliant legal thinkers on the federal appellate courts, especially the Supreme Court. If the Democrats want to nominate hacks, that’s fine. But the Republicans have a stable of potential nominees who are leaders in the profession and are top-notch thinkers in the tradition of Scalia and Thomas. John Roberts was one, and he is typical of the kind of nominee that the public should expect from Republican Presidents. There were plenty more where Roberts came from. President Bush missed an opportunity to drive home with the public the fact that the most brilliant and most principled thinkers in the legal profession are conservatives, not liberals.

We think it’s okay for 11% of the Supreme Court to be a successful businesswoman as well as lawyer.


We note the comments of Roger Simon as well. We would add that we know any number of accomplished people — non-lawyers — who, given five years of serious application, would be perfectly adequate Supreme Court justices.

2 Responses to “We’re sitting this dance out”

  1. Steven M. Warshawsky Says:

    Hi Dinocrat,

    Love your site. Have perused it regularly since I discovered it back during the 2004 presidential campaign.

    I am writing because I disagree with your much too flippant put-down of conservatives who have criticized the Miers nomination. I don’t think they (we) are “snobs” or “negativists” or secretly believe Bush is a “dunce.”

    First, what is wrong with expecting a Supreme Court nominee to have credentials that are commensurate with the position? Miers’ simply are not at that level. It’s not a question of her not having a “blue chip” law degree or not having worked in a “blue chip” law firm or not having served in any distinguished governmental positions (other than White House counsel), etc. It’s the combination of all of her rather mundane experiences — except for her Bush connection — that is decidedly unimpressive. There is nothing “distinguished” about her legal career to date, except for serving as White House counsel. I agree that this is an impressive achievement, but that’s the only thing that differentiates her from thousands of other lawyers in this country. There is nothing “snobbish” about believing that her stint as Bush’s chief legal advisor is a meager qualification for the Supreme Court (putting aside the cronyism charges).

    Miers’ lack of judicial experience is particularly troubling — not because it is a *requirement* for the job — but because there is no track record to show how she approaches legal issues, how she interprets statutes and regulations, how she applies broad constitutional provisions to specific legal problems, etc. And since she has no professional or scholarly track record on these sorts of issues either, all we can rely upon is Bush’s assurances that she’s “the most qualified person” for the job. That’s a pretty thin reed, frankly, when conservatives have been told repeatedly that Bush will appoint someone in the mould of Scalia or Thomas. We’ll see how Miers presents herself at the confirmation hearing, but even that’s not the same thing as putting your name on a written opinion, judicial, scholarly or otherwise, that can be judged by others. Miers is an entirely unknown quantity, and conservatives are not acting unreasonably in expressing concerns over her nomination. It would be a disaster, for example, if she turned out like Souter or even Kennedy. That would effectively move the Court LEFT!

    Second, since when is it verboten to criticize the leaders of one’s party? I’ve seen the same sort of “negativist” quip made by others. The upshot seems to be that we are required, as loyal party members, to support Bush regardless of what we think of his decisions. Does this also apply to immigration, federal spending, campaign finance reform, affirmative action, etc.? This sort of put down is beneath a thoughtful, critically-minded person like yourself.

    As for Bush being a “dunce,” well, that remains to be seen. If, by nominating Miers, he alienates the conservative base of the Republican Party, who then fail to come out for the 2006/2008 elections, costing the party some important seats (let alone the presidency), I’d say he’s a dunce. Also, if Miers turns out to be anywhere to the left of Rehnquist, then he’s an incredible dunce. On the other hand, if Bush succeeds in placing a solid conservative vote on the Supreme Court, then he won’t look so stupid, will he? Only time will tell. But I think we’ll know by the 2008 election whether Miers is a solid conservative. If she’s not, the conservative backlash in 2008 could be a disaster for the party.

    Thanks for considering my views,

    Steven M. Warshawsky

  2. DL Says:

    One of the Democrat criticisms that fell rather flat about the Roberts candidacy was the “not enough information” cry from the left. After 80,000? pages were given the Dems, that cry fell on public ears as having no credibility. I think the opposite might happen here. No record, no experience, nothing but, “trust Bush.” The Dems have a better footing upon which to reject her. “We can’t approve of what we don’t know!”

    Does this stealth candidate game set up a precedent that strong conservatives with a good track record of upholding the constitution need not apply? I think so, and I think it is the wrong message to send the Dems. (they will have won!) It’s also the wrong message to send those conservative stalwarts that have proven their loyalty to something bigger than Bush, and that’s the Constitution!

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