Skip to comments.Dubya Closes a Door? What Harriet Miers may mean for constitutional law.
Posted on 10/17/2005 9:37:09 AM PDT by Crackingham
"The horror, the horror," seems to sum up the reaction of many conservatives to the nomination of Harriet Miers to serve on the Supreme Court. One can almost hear the ominous organ of Doors's keyboardist Ray Manzarek in the background, as Jim Morrison intones, "This is the end." And it is an end, of sorts the end of conservative hopes that a Republican president known for bold strokes would put forward a forceful intellect who would help shift the drifting Constitution back toward its moorings. Unlike Colonel Kurtz, conservatives have been traumatized not by an "Apocalypse Now," but by a slow destruction of constitutional law.
The "Constitution in exile" better be on a pleasant island paradise, because it will have a long stay. For many conservatives the Supreme Court was the issue, the reason for supporting Bush over the years despite misgivings on this issue or that. Decades ago Country Joe MacDonald wailed with absurdist resignation, And its one, two, three, what are we fighting for? a question many conservatives are asking themselves today.
The Miers nomination may prove to be a wake-up call so energizing the Republican base that they rise in revolt, scuttling the nomination and demanding that Bush fulfill his promise to name a Scalia or a Thomas. That seemed unlikely at first, but the uprising seems to be gaining surprising momentum. Despite the grumblings, however, the Republican inclination to support the president is strong, and Democrats would be foolish to look a gift horse in the mouth. President Bush has handed liberal democrats a present, although they don't seem effusive in their appreciation. Miers may deliver the conservative votes that Bush promises, but there is no sign that she has the intellectual depth or sophisticated understanding of the Constitution to seriously challenge the liberal legal mainstream. For that, liberals should be breathing an immense sigh of relief. And while conservatives are appalled, Miers apparently enjoys the support of none other than Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid. Given Reid's sophisticated evaluations of judicial and presidential competence, what more recommendation could one need?
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Ihave said from the beginning that this is enough for me to oppose this nomination.
If you think that's bad, you should check out Miers' writing. *shudder* http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1503766/posts
"the uprising seems to be gaining surprising momentum"
I'm not entirely sure. I'd like to hear the author's evidence on that (or any other freepers).
I've said it before: one Scalia on the Court is a dream; nine would be a nightmare.
Maybe the opposition is running out of names to call us.
Yeah, consider this: the court tries to spread the task of writing opinions around. Senior-most justice on winning side assigns the task. Court will deliver written opinions in roughly 170 cases per year. So we'll get about 18 written opinions from her a year, for what, 10 years? Wonder how many of those will end up in law school texts?
Oh, you elitist sexist, you!
"Wonder how many of those will end up in law school texts?"
I'm thinking more like freshmen English composition classes, on how not to write stultifying prose that comes to no conclusion even after a thousand words.
>>>I have said from the beginning that this is enough for me to oppose this nomination.<<<
Same here. I naturally oppose any issue that Reid, Kennedy, Leahy, Kerry, Biden, Durbin, Pelosi, or other left-wing wackos support. I am rarely wrong.
I agree with you LS.
I do believe most people are concerned with Ms. Miers because she is unknown; and we are tired of people, no matter be it a SC nominee or plain vanilla politician, telling the public they are one way and turn out to be the other way. We don't want blood either in a big massive fight either. What we do want is someone who will hold to the principles of the Constitution and not vote or govern as the case may be their own personal agenda or some groups hatred for America.
This is silly. MOST Supreme Court justices never write memorable decisions, and MOST vote with a majority or minority in which ONE or TWO great legal minds direct the court. Always has been, always will be.
That's why we need a complete moron on the court, someone barely smart enough to breath but still able to sign her X on legal documents. After all, the clerks do all the work.
I've said it before: one Scalia on the Court is a dream; nine would be a nightmare, because then we'd be back to a original intrepretation of the Constitution, and who needs that?
"...but there is no sign that she has the intellectual depth or sophisticated understanding of the Constitution to seriously challenge the liberal legal mainstream."
What the hell does that mean? All she needs to do is get four votes to side with her and what she says will become law. If she writes enough birthday cards with hearts on them, that ought to be sufficient to sway those stodgy Justices to her side.
She doesn't have to challenge the liberal legal mainstream, all she has to do is be a cipher, a pimple on the butt of jurisprudence, and the left will have to challenge her. If you are a woman and a friend of GW, you don't need brains to be a Supreme Court Justice, no it's all about feeling good about someone. That's why I'm having my heart surgery done by my chiropractor, he's so much more friendly than those guys down at the hospital.
She won't write them, that's what interns are for.
Court will deliver written opinions in roughly 170 cases per year...
Not nearly that many--more like less than half of 170 according to the following:
The number of slip opinions published each Term has varied over the years from as few as 75 to as many as 150.
The number of cases handled by the Court -- with full opinions -- has been reduced substantially in recent decades, from some 140-150 to 70-90.
80 opinions this past term.
You're right. It will deliver summary judgement in about 120 cases, written opinions in about 80-90.
Way to re-establish the integrity and legitimacy of constitutional law.
Sorry, but nine eggheads, even conservative eggheads, is a disaster waiting to happen. You need people with pragmatic, everyday outlooks to know how laws affect real people. As Bill Buckley often said, "I'd trust myself to the first 100 names in the Boston phone book than the faculty of Harvard," and in this case I'd trust the decisions of nine average Americans just as soon as a bunch of "brilliant" legal scholars---of any stripe.
She doesn't have to challenge the libs. She only has to vote the right way, and and you certainly don't need brains for that. In fact, brains are just a hindrance to good jurisprudence. Leave the great decisions to Scalia and Thomas and Roberts, then just use Miers as a convenient sock puppet to rubber stamp the ideas of men with brains. I don't know why people think a woman on the Supreme Court should have brains anyway, how much brain work does it take to make coffee or write a cute birthday card?
Sorry, but nine eggheads, even conservative eggheads, is a disaster waiting to happen. Especially ones who believed in strict constructionism, cause there's no knowing where a strict reading of the Constitution will lead you. Could be anywhere, conservative penumbras anyone?
You need people with pragmatic, everyday outlooks to know how laws affect real people. Like, how a parking ticket gets written or how many spotted owls does it take to make a pie. As Bill Buckley often said, "I'd trust myself to the first 100 names in the Boston phone book than the faculty of Harvard,". That's why we need to go the opposite way and find someone of low IQ, lower than mine even.
I'd trust the decisions of nine average Americans just as soon as a bunch of "brilliant" legal scholars---of any stripe. Sort of the way 12 jurors awarded $250 million in the Vioxx case, putting an entire industry in chaos. Now there's jurisprudence for ya, straight from the common man.
I keep wondering how many justices the next president will appoint and what the results will be.
And your post isn't all about feelings? You've been told for the last few years that only X, Y and Z will be suitable candidates so you've gone into brain lock at the thought of anyone other than X, Y and Z being nominated.
I think you may have missed Fast Coyote's point.
"And your post isn't all about feelings? "
Posts on this thread by me have been satirical. In general, my posts are not about feelings but about contract law - adherence to the Constitutional contract without which there is chaos. Pretty unemotional stuff.
"Wonder how many of those will end up in law school texts?"
The one that overturn Roe V Wade will.
"But why not go with someone who has already proven themselves?"
Because 41 people, not qualified to catch dogs will not let this person sit on the bench. How is that for a reason?
|Need more info|
|I'm voting Hillary!|
You have a short memory. Reid also sung praises for Roberts but he voted against him. I think Reid was caught with his pants down on this nomination. I don't think Reid ever thought Bush would take him up on his initial idea of nominating Miers. Bush sure fooled him.
NR and NRO have lost any credibility on this issue.
The FR poll ought to be reset. A lot of people who clicked "need more info" probably would vote yes or no now.
When only 12% of Conservatives support your position NRO, it is NOT the WH who is "losing ground". But cling to this nonsense. It has been a real eye opener to find out who are the pretend Conservatives in the movement who merely hitched their wagon to our start so they could ride along. Glad to find out that since Buckley retired, NRO has been over run by self important Dinosaur Media style gate keepers who's egos are completely out of touch with their relevance to the Conservative movement. Been fun the last 10 days watching NRO move over to join Bill Kristol and Pat Buchanan in the whiny, self-important, perpetually angry, and completely irrelevant, caucus of the Conservative Movement.
Utterly silly. But I re-state my position: I'd trust nine average Americans than nine legal whizzes any day, Vioxx be damned. I've served on juries, and can tell you that there's some pretty solid thinking that goes on there without a single law book. Funny thing, most of our Founders didn't have legal training---and certainly not of they type expected today. And gee, they only managed to write the Constitution. Yeah, we need some real eggheads up there. You've convinced me.
Huh? IMHO, what we need is less parsing of the constitution and a more literal approach. You know, it says this, so, duh, that must be what it means.
I don't know about Miers, but lawyers have made the constitution out to be a lot more complicated than it is. We need to get down to basics.
If the Constitution does not specifically give a power to the feds, then it belongs to the states. How freakin complicated is that concept???
I got his point perfectly. He thinks we need the smartest tool in the box---no, nine of them. I don't. One or two intellectuals anywhere are useful, but nine can't hammer a nail together. I think this Court, for years, has been "over-lawyered" and had too many eggheads who can't read the Constitution. It ain't that tough.
"Who cares if the decisions are memorable? They don't have to be. It doesn't matter how they are written. People don't go on the Supreme Court to write brilliantly worded decisions, they go on it to assert power. A decision can be one page long and the effect would be the same. "You win and you lose. Why? Because we say so."
Thanks for the short/clear dose of reality versus the endless pompous hyperbole from the elites of the beltway.
I've always been the quiet kind of "advance-the-agenda" guy, and leave the bluster to the Carville types.
I've always been the quiet kind of "advance-the-agenda" guy, and leave the bluster to the Carville-Coulter types.
" Funny thing, most of our Founders didn't have legal training---and certainly not of they type expected today. And gee, they only managed to write the Constitution. Yeah, we need some real eggheads up there. You've convinced me."
Oh yeah, Harriet Miers is the caliber of Ben Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Hamilton, et. al. They'd laugh their asses off if they read Harriet's few ramblings. I'd be happy with a Thomas Sowell, or Victor Davis Hanson, or others out of the usual mold.
But please, don't insult us by claiming dumb is genius, and genius is dumb. Harriet Miers is a pedestrian choice, a disappointment. Like pinch hitting the bat boy for Barry Bonds. And please, I would no more trust 9 random citizens with my life than I'd play Russian Roulette with three in the chambers.
GW is a liberal on most issues that matter. And you want us to trust him with Miers?
Just keep repeating to yourself, dumb is smart, dumb is smart, and maybe even you will really believe that.
Interesting you chose the steroid-laden Bonds as an example, but I repeat: I'm more comfortable with a couple of average people on the Court. Yes, AVERAGE, in all levels.
He has no evidence for any of the assertions in his article.
"Interesting you chose the steroid-laden Bonds "
Deceitful little innuendo there. Typical act of someone who wallows in mediocrity.
GIBSON: Mr. President, the next question is for you, and it comes from Jonathan Michaelson, over here.
MICHAELSON: Mr. President, if there were a vacancy in the Supreme Court and you had the opportunity to fill that position today, who would you choose and why?
BUSH: I'm not telling.
I really don't have -- haven't picked anybody yet. Plus, I want them all voting for me.