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Law, culture, and Catholicism...up in smoke!

Monday, October 03, 2005

A Wasted Opportunity with Harriet Miers

OK, now that I've let the news of today's SCOTUS nomination settle in, I'm more prepared to discuss the topic than I was earlier today.

To put it simply, I'm angry. I'm disappointed. I'm tired of being let down by Republican political leaders.

Judges was the number one domestic issue for me. I didn't like getting an unknown quantity in John Roberts, but Roberts was brilliant. Certain conservatives vouched for Roberts. Roberts had polish and gave a great appearance. Even his Democratic critics on the Senate Judiciary Committee were wowed by him.

Harriet Miers is no John Roberts. More importantly, however, she's no Mike Luttig, Edith Jones, Samuel Alito, Janice Rogers Brown, William Pryor, or Michael McConnell. In other words, there were plenty of qualified originalist nominees and we got President Bush's longtime personal lawyer and friend. That just doesn't cut it for me.

No matter how good Harriet Miers may turn out to be, the President has wasted an opportunity to name a brilliant and persuasive originalist judge. If a second-term Republican President can't name such a jurist with 55 Republican Senators and a majority in the House, then it appears such a President never will.

All that being said, I think Harriet Miers will probably turn out to be a conservative. President Bush has a good record of appointing conservative judges and he knows Miers well. I would be very surprised if he doesn't know Miers' views on many issues.

If Miers is able to join in some good conservative opinions before the 2006 elections (like significantly eroding Roe v. Wade), the President may dodge a bullet and the party may never feel any repercussions from this decision. Nevertheless, I refuse to believe that President Bush couldn't have done better with this nomination.