Overlooking the Key Question for Miers
NPR Ron Elving, 10 October 2005
The issue is independence.
Given the nature of her current position, her relationship with this president and her political background, could she be (and be seen to be) her own woman? Would she be able to separate herself from the inner circle of White House thinking and decision making should she be confirmed to the high court? Or would she act as a kind of extension of that circle into the separate power center of the court?
This is not just a matter of recusing herself from hearing cases that arise from decisions she herself took part in while White House counsel (or in earlier executive posts). This is the far broader question regarding Miers' likely function on the court, and the desirability of allowing a president to install on the court a trusted confidante who will not likely forget the man who raised her to the most prestigious legal distinction in the land. Nor is she likely to be unfamiliar with his preferences on a wide range of legal issues.
The (UK) Business Online, 9 October 2005
IT should have been the crowning moment of his administration, the opportunity to exercise one of his most important privileges as President by picking two new judges to serve on the Supreme Court, thereby stamping his mark on American society for the next few decades, as only a few presidents have done before him. Instead, President Bushs astonishingly short-sighted decision last week to nominate a close colleague with no judicial track record for the Supreme Court, following an earlier uninspired choice, risks condemning his administration to being remembered as the most debilitating since the sorry rule of Jimmy Carter in the late 1970s...
The rise of a popular and populist right-wing politics in America over the past 35 years is one of the most extraordinary events in modern Western politics; it is unique to the United States, helping to explain the countrys exceptionalism and its growing cultural divergence with Europe. The damning charge against Mr Bush is that, instead of using the continued dominance of the right to finish the large amounts of uncompleted business from the Reagan revolution sorting out the social security system, simplifying the tax code, tackling Americas abysmal primary and secondary schools, reforming corporate welfare with the same gusto as welfare for the poor was reformed, forging a new consensus to wage the war or terror Mr Bush has failed in all these areas, and in some has taken America backwards.
Townhall Columnist Thomas Sowell, 7 October 2005
But President Bush says he has known Harriet Miers long enough that he feels sure.
For the rest of us, she is a stealth nominee. Not since The Invisible Man has there been so much stealth...
The bottom line with any Supreme Court justice is how they vote on the issues before the High Court. It would be nice to have someone with ringing rhetoric and dazzling intellectual firepower. But the bottom line is how they vote. If the President is right about Harriet Miers, she may be the best choice he could make under the circumstances.