Okay. Now What?

Ken AshfordSupreme CourtLeave a Comment

We on the left have had fun the past couple of days watching the rightosphere tar-and-feather Bush over his Supreme Court nominee, Harriet Myers.  But ultimately, we have to decide: Do we support her, or do we reject her (knowing that a rejection might mean we get a non-stealth candidate who is qualified, but clearly in the Scalia mold)?

Many on the left are in a wait-and-see mode.  They want to hear her at the confirmation hearings.  And while I reserve the right to change my mind, I don’t think the hearings will yield much fruit (the absence of fruit, however, may itself become a deciding factor for many).

As for me, I endorse the views of law professor Geoffrey Stone.  You should read the whole thing, but here’s the key graf:

Let me be clear. I have no knowledge about Ms. Miers’s views about the United States Constitution. I assume she’s conservative, but perhaps not. That’s not the point. The point, rather, is that she appears to be unqualified for the position. There is nothing in her record that distinguishes her from tens of thousands of other lawyers in the United States, most of whom are undoubtedly fine lawyers, but few of whom have the background, experience, or intellectual depth to serve successfully on the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court decides the most fundamental questions of freedom of speech, equality, separation of powers, federalism, religious liberty, and privacy. The goal is not just to vote, but to bring a high level of wisdom, experience, principle, and intellect to the process of judging. It is no place for rank amateurs, especially rank amateurs with no record of relevant achievement.

I would rather have a qualified possible conservative in the John Roberts mold, than an amateur who-knows-what-roll-of-the-dice.