Skip to comments.Miers Vote May Hinge on Documents (Brownback: GOP Senators "Not a Rubber Stamp")
Posted on 10/24/2005 2:43:22 AM PDT by KentTrappedInLiberalSeattle
WASHINGTON Republican and Democratic senators called on President Bush yesterday to release documents relating to Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers' service as White House counsel, with some warning that she may not win confirmation otherwise.
In discussions on television talk shows, senators of both parties said that the biggest obstacle to Miers' confirmation is a lack of information about her capabilities.
Sen. Sam Brownback, R-Kan., ordinarily a Bush ally but also a social conservative who is expected to seek the GOP presidential nomination in 2008, warned that the Senate "is not a rubber stamp."
"If we're to give advice and consent, we've got to have a full picture," Brownback said on Fox News Sunday.
Brownback, a member of the Judiciary Committee, and Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont, the committee's top Democrat, argued that because the president said he nominated Miers because of her White House experience, he should waive executive privilege and release files on at least some of her work.
"The president has based that decision on what he's seen her do in the White House. We ought to at least know what it was she did in the White House," Leahy said on the same program.
"I do think we're going to have to see more information," Brownback said. "Not attorney-client privilege-type information, but more information of the work product that she was involved in, in the White House, that's not of a legal nature but that's of a policy nature."
Presidents have a right under a legal principle known as executive privilege to keep secret the inner workings of their staff, including most of the documents they produce. In most circumstances, Bush has been firm in resisting calls to provide information about White House deliberations, and White House spokesman Scott McClellan has said he is not intending to change that policy.
However, Miers' nomination has encountered resistance from lawmakers who in recent days have increased pressure on the White House to provide more information on Miers.
Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., a member of the Judiciary Committee, said Miers' nomination could fail if senators don't learn more about her in the coming weeks.
"I think if you were to hold the vote today, she would not get a majority, either in the Judiciary Committee or on the floor [of the Senate]," Schumer said on NBC's "Meet the Press."
But he added that could change if she did well in committee hearings scheduled to begin Nov. 7.
The Miers nomination faces resistance from liberals concerned about her stated support for a constitutional ban on abortion, and from conservatives who think that her résumé is thin and that her close ties to Bush are the only reason she was nominated.
Miers, the White House counsel, was Bush's personal lawyer in Texas in the 1990s.
Judiciary Committee Chairman Arlen Specter, R-Pa., said the vote on Miers could go either way.
"It's going to depend upon how well she does (in the hearings). She's going to have 18 senators well-prepared, and it's sort of like a relay interrogation," Specter said on CBS' "Face the Nation." "But if she makes her case, she can be confirmed."
Meanwhile, what goes unnoticed is that Bush isn't budging. He's obviously either stupid or confident that Miers will handle the brainy liberals - not to mention the ultra-brainy conservatives - with relative ease.
In a nation where everyone is afforded the luxury of speech - where junkies, serial killers, bums and perverts have advocates - no one seems to be interested in affording Miers the right to defend herself using speech. Everyone has an opinion about her, it seems, yet she hasn't said a word about much of anything.
If Miers is a lightweight, we'll know soon enough. Why the rush to judgement? If she's such an idiot, don't you suppose it will be rather easy to detect? Why not let her speak and *then* make up your minds about her?
That's what I'm going to do. I'm sorry, but I would like to think I'm decent enough to distrust what everyone tells me about someone who hasn't been afforded the democratic luxury of speaking for themselves.
And it will cement the principle that the President should not nominate people from the White House Council's Office to positions requiring Senate confirmation. I have no problem with that. Folks from that office know where too many of the bodies are buried.
Remember how low the expectations wereof Bush in his first debate. They were almost so low that he won by showing up. It seems the Whitehouse has established the same or even lower expectations.
If Miers can only respond verbally with a grunt, she will seem to do well, especially after the attack on her by the right.
Perhaps certain GOP senators would prefer to find themselves in the minority rather than being a so called 'rubber stamp'.
Don't you think it strange, if not bizarre, that all those claiming she isn't up to being a Constitutional scholar all want the nomination withdrawn? After all, the Constitution provides for the President to nominate and the Senate to advise and consent. We have the ultimate elitist tautology--she is too dumb to be a member of SCOTUS so let us avoid the Constitution remedy and just withdraw her name.
I hope and pray I have read President Bush right. He is a genius at making contact and understanding people. It is and was his way to the top. With such abilities he knows that to receive loyalty you must give it.
Finally, I think people are missing the true nature of Ms. Mier's temperament. She is surely smart and assertive; however, she is a person who leads by serving and example and not by egoistic domination. In this she is quite different from the average member of SCOTUS and will be a welcome addition to this small group making such big decisions.
Her one shortcoming--I hope short lived--is she is suffering "stage fright." People of her temperament are very effective but beneath the public radar although they shouldn't be. When they suddenly rise to prominence they are initially blinded by the celebrity search light. While the average denizen of DC spends a lifetime searching for the search light, she has spent a life time avoiding it.
Someone should tell her to "get into her act" and forget herself and all those eyes. She will do fine. Pompous, dominating personalities will never understand her much to their chagrin and loss.
Dittos here, although I am not sorry. ;)
Odd, don't you think, how it appears the Miers Freeper phobia has lessened from a category 5 hurricane down to a quite ordinary, every day summer squall.
"Remember how low the expectations wereof Bush in his first debate. They were almost so low that he won by showing up. It seems the Whitehouse has established the same or even lower expectations.
Very good point and one I hadn't thought of. I remember how the Bush campaign spent a lot of effort making Al Gore (who had the personality of a tree stump) seem like an invincible and spectacular debater, and making it seem like they had no chance in a debate format. So when Bush performed fairly well, and Al wasn't the juggernaut they had built him into, it became a big victory for Bush. It makes sense they might try a similar strategy of setting the bar low for Miers.
>>no one seems to be interested in affording Miers the right to defend herself using speech.
Words have meanings, Reactionary. Miers has no "right" to be heard in the Senate. What you should call it is, "affording Miers the courtesy." And doing that is likely to prolong the unpleasantness and the embarrassment to all, including her; plus it may end in a public humiliation of this good woman and a defeat for the President.
If she had the credentials it would be obvious by now, and we'd not be discussing her possibly redeeming performance in hearings. By now some senator or other should have come forward and said, "I just got out of a meeting with Harriet Miers and I'm blown away by her brilliance. There goes a billion kilowatt dame!"
Uh, who hasn't noticed that? I think everyone notices-that's part of his problem "making friends and influencing people."
In a nation where everyone is afforded the luxury of speech - where junkies, serial killers, bums and perverts have advocates - no one seems to be interested in affording Miers the right to defend herself using speech.
Oh she sure can, problem is we, the ultra brainy conservatives already know she'll cause more trouble for Bush when she missteps-and she will misstep, many times. This controversy was originally to help him save face, but as you said, one doesn't smirk that much without actually believing in their own infaliability. Its full speed ahead for the crony. He's even back to having her meet with the Senators after it was widely reported many said the meetings went so bad they were planning on canceling them.
if Miers is a lightweight, we'll know soon enough. Why the rush to judgement? If she's such an idiot, don't you suppose it will be rather easy to detect? Why not let her speak and *then* make up your minds about her?
You're right, at this point I for one am excited about her testimony. Making an horses a$$ out of the administration going up there and not knowing the difference between Earl Warren and Warrren Berger should be quite satisfying. I may tape CSPAN to watch and rewatch that deer-in-headlights stare she'll have to give when she proves this isn't her area, or league. Let the woman speak, but I better not here a WISPER from you defenders rationalizing afterwards. The sexists/elititist echo chamber has already put you in the doghouse with many of us- I assure you if there is wagon circling and arm twisting after she completely lays an egg the conservative movement will crumble from the bitterness.