Skip to comments.HARRIET MIERS OUTSHINES BORK
Posted on 10/04/2005 3:20:22 PM PDT by Richard Poe
HARRIET MIERS OUTSHINES BORK
Unlike the Patron Saint of Originalism, Miers Will Defend Our Freedom
Judge Robert H. Bork has come to represent in many conservative minds the gold standard of legal sagacity against which provincial upstarts such as Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers must be weighed. In truth, however, Bork provides a poor example of conservative jurisprudence. Even as simple a phrase as, "the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed" has long confounded Judge Bork. Harriet Miers suffers no such confusion.
Following a July 1, 1992 incident in which a crazed gunman slew two lawyers and two judges in a Texas courtroom, Miers wrote in the Texas Lawyer, "How does a free society prevent a man from entering a courtroom and opening fire?" (hat tip, David Kopel)
The very liberties we hold dear, such as, "access to public places, the right to bear arms and freedom from constant surveillance" make such crimes possible, noted Miers. Yet, she concluded, "We are not willing to sacrifice these rights because of the acts of maniacs."
By contrast, Robert Bork dismisses the Second Amendment as a useless relic of bygone days. In his 1996 book Slouching Towards Gomorrah he writes that, "The Supreme Court has consistently ruled that there is no individual right to own a firearm" — a statement which is demonstrably untrue. Bork also writes:
"The Second Amendment was designed to allow states to defend themselves against a possibly tyrannical national government. Now that the federal government has stealth bombers and nuclear weapons, it is hard to imagine what people would need to keep in the garage to serve that purpose.''
Perhaps if Judge Bork had found himself besieged by gangs in post-Katrina New Orleans, he might have gained a healthy appreciation for the utility of SKS rifles and AR-15s in modern life. How much more would he have appreciated such hardware, had he found himself surveying the smoking ruins of an American city flattened by nuclear terror attack, devoid of police and swarming with brigands.
But Judge Bork is one of those men who cannot "imagine" what he has not personally experienced. And so the "brilliant" jurist discarded James Madison's handiwork as casually as he would a soiled Kleenex.
If this is brilliance, how exactly should we define stupidity?
In today's American Thinker, Thomas Lifson exposes the snobbery which underlies so many conservative denunciations of Harriet Miers. He writes:
"Thus we hear conservatives sniffing that a Southern Methodist University legal education is just too non-Ivy League, adopting a characteristic trope of blue state elitists. We hear conservatives bemoaning a lack of judicial experience, and not a single law review article in the last decade as evidence of a second rate mind."
The outrage certain conservative pundits have displayed in the face of President Bush's decision to elevate Harriet Miers over their Ivy League classmates may be understandable. But it is not helpful. Nor is it admirable.
And now Miers has said it is a right that shouldn' be infringed and Bork says the 2nd Amendment doesn't impart an individual right and is an anachronism? Could it be he's over-educated himself? Thinks too damn much? Is out of touch with the common man?
Say it ain't so!
I was aware of the overestimated Bork's position on the Second Amendment and have been pointing it out to his defenders for years---
Wow, good find.
The same liberties that ensure a free society make the innocent vulnerable to those who prevent rights and privileges and commit senseless and cruel acts. Those precious liberties include free speech, freedom to assemble, freedom of liberties, access to public places, the right to bear arms and freedom from constant surveillance. We are not willing to sacrifice these rights because of the acts of maniacs.
She is SOOO unsophisticated. We MUST give up our liberties to protect ourselves from the maniacs. She's a anachronism, a throwback. Lord help us! She might even believe that interstate commerce should involve commerce and interstate movement! We're DOOMED!
Someone else finally noticed that Bork is very weak on the 2nd Amendment, and also discovered that Miers apparently isn't. On another thread, someone was lamenting that Bush chose Miers instead of someone like Bork.
Mr. Poe, this is outstanding work.
However, posting it on the All-New Bush-Hating Free Republic is akin to casting pearls before swine...
Great catch and well said. Thanks
Wow! This article appears on moonbatcentral.com. I thought we applied the "moonbat" label to cranky libs.
Oh wait. "Libs" can apply not just to liberals, but to libertarians, too.
"On another thread, someone was lamenting that Bush chose Miers instead of someone like Bork"
That was only because nominating Bork would have caused a big fight....not because Bork would have been a better justice.
Like Rush said, the fight was needed and we will have to fight it someday. But, its been delayed by Miers...oh well.
Yeah, I wonder why all the usual suspects haven't come to this thread decrying campaign contributions Miers made in 1988. Or decrying her lack of qualifications. She really needs to go back to school and get her education up to Bork's level and then Bush could re-nominate her /sarcasm.
No, Bork is consistent with the original intent of the Constitution. He believes in a federal government with limited powers per the Ninth and Tenth Amendments. He believes that the selective incorporation doctrine of the 14th Amendment is bogus. That means the Federal government would be unable to regulate the State militias or enforce the Second Amendment against State laws.
The question is: Do you want Federalism or unlimited Federal power?
There is good reason for this preference. It preserves the powers of your local government which means that your local representation would remain meaningful. As things are now, the federal courts are dictating terms to local governments on hordes of issues that never reach the Supremes.
It's a trade-off with which Bork is at least consistent, unlike most Federal jurists.
Bork isn't being held up as the "gold standard", Scalia and Thomas are. Also I think Bork's view of antitrust law is horribly flawed.
I'd really like to see the context of those Bork quotes-- I really really would.
Man, I feel better about this every hour. Thanks for the link to Kopel's article.
Sorry, but he calls the 2nd Amendment an anachronism. And IMO, the 2nd does not require incorporation as the First did, because it is not prefaced with "Congress shall pass no law."
It says "shall not be infringed." That is absolute. And Bork walks away from that absolutism.
A worthwhile listen: Windows audioclip of Mier's pastor talking about her personality and character on Kevin McCullough's radio talk show
Thomas is the gold standard. Scalia sided with the majority in Gonzales v Raich, which would have put a wooden stake into Wickard.
I think you can search his book by key-word at Amazon.com.
I'm sorry, but this is not much to go on. As the original article pointed out she lumped a bunch of rights into a paragraph as an example (and it may have refered to the rights in Texas to bear arms)of a larger point.
Moreover, does this sound conservative?
She then explained the true solution to crime:
"We will be successful in solving our massive crime problems only when we attack the root causes....
We all can be active in some way to address the social issues that foster criminal behavior, such as: lack of self-esteem or hope in some segments of our society, poverty, lack of health care (particularly mental health care), lack of education, and family dysfunction. "
Self esteem causes crime? Hope? Lack of health care?
NOW I am more worried.
Read my lips.......Harriet Miers will turn out to be another Antonin Scalia.
I can't wait to say "I told you so" !!
Oh ye of little faith....................
AKA fair weather friends
And I personally watched Bork make comments about the 2nd to the effect that it's staunch supporters were in fact rabid wackos that made themselve look bad with their fanaticism.
A tidbit of info for the record.......
I'm becomming more and more convinced that some FReepers are narrow minded, and suffer from tunnel vision. They'd also turn against their own Mothers in a New York minute. They are self centered examples of the "me" generation.
Harriet Miers was an even MORE brilliant choice than John Roberts. Too bad some FReepers are too stupid to notice!!
I admire Rush Limbaugh, but why have a fight, when we can win the war without firing a shot?? Isn't that what Ronald Reagan did??? And it turned out to be the right thing to do, didn't it???
I had not heard that. Got a source?
And IMO, the 2nd does not require incorporation as the First did, because it is not prefaced with "Congress shall pass no law."
It says "shall not be infringed." That is absolute. And Bork walks away from that absolutism.
While I am certain you know that I agree with that sentiment, the Second also deems a State militia "well regulated." From what I have been able to discern, that means not only are the militia ready and trained to fight, but that a State has the power to manage that armed capability.
This is getting off topic. My point is that I think the Second as written is somewhat at variance with an optimal statement in support of the pre-existing unalienable right to self-defense and that placing enforcement powers in the Federal government has its perils.
BTTT about Bork comments
Why is it only the pubbies that eat their own?
You needed to hear the complete statement by Rush on this issue otherwise, just reading my post, it does seem he just wanted a rumble with the libs....but it was more eloquent than that.
Still, Rush has a wait and see attitude. He was not a panicky whiner like so many, especially Joeseph Farah.
That's not what all conservatives are saying. Most conservatives are saying that there were better qualified candidates available to Bush. And conservatives aren't saying we need a conservative jurist in the mold of Robert Bork, but rather we need a conservative jurist in the mold of Antonin Scalia or Clarence Thomas.
Bite this Ann Coulter!
Great article. Keep them coming.
Yeah, well at least Bork is writing books, one of Borks many achievements not shared by Harriet Miers.
/sarcasm> (Inserted because I am afraid there are too many here who would take me seriously.)
I enjoyed your use of Reagan and Sun Tzu against Rush. I admire Rush and many other conservative radio hosts who seem to be squeamish about Miers, but their skepticism verges on cynicism, which is very un-Reagan.
In addition to their wanting an all-out bloody battle over Sandra's replacement, Rush and the other naysayers are violating another Sun Tzu-ism: When strong, appear weak. Rush thinks we're being weak by going into stealth mode, when in fact, we may just be giving the appearance of being weak.
Bork also argued that there is no Constitutional protection for parents who homeschool their children, even if they do it for religious reasons.
LOL... that Coulter gal....... I haven't paid much attention to her rants for a long time. She appears to have been disappointed in life to me and has become nothing more that a constant complainer in the mold of ol' Pattie Buchanan and the other members of the Donner party.....
I have long thought Bork is somewhat overrated- but better than most of what we have on the Supreme Court.
I agree that lack of an Ivy League education etc. is a criticism that is not worthy of respect. However, should not reasonable criticism of Miers be allowed? Just as there are reasonable defenses of her?
You should have been here the day Bush picked Cheney for his VP; you think this was bad? Huh, it's nothing compared to THAT day.
I don't understand the "fight" thing either; lots of BLOODLUST on FR these last few days.
Wouldn't the Second Ammendment offer protection to a citizen of a states whose representatives wanted to take guns out of citizens hands?
She would not have been my first pick but she might turn out to be a good one.
The more I learn about her the better she does sound.
Good find. I am liking Harriet Miers better the more I learn about her. President Bush has made a good choice for the Supreme Court.
Wow! Good find. Thank you for posting it.
The lady is from Texas after all. ;)
I feel the same. Quite discouraged yesterday and early this morning, but not anymore.
Can't wait for the confirmation hearings.
Now that we have the 14th Amendment, if you believe in the full incorporation of the Second Amendment, then the Federal government has the power to over-ride ANY State law to enforce the Bill of Rights and the answer would be yes.
If you don't belive that the 14th gives the Feds powers to enforce the BOR against the States, the answer would be no.
That's the problem with the 14th. If you want Federal protection, you have to accept the perils including the way they have enforced the establishment clause against the States.
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