The crowning absurdity of the president’s wallowing in such nonsense is the obvious assumption that the Supreme Court is, like a legislature, an institution of representation. This from a president who, introducing
Miers, deplored judges who ‘‘legislate from the bench.’’ Minutes after the president announced the nomination of his friend from Texas, another Texas friend, Robert Jordan, former ambassador to Saudi Arabia, was on Fox News proclaiming what he and, no doubt, the White House that probably enlisted him for advocacy, considered glad and relevant tidings: Miers, said Jordan, has been a victim. She has been, he said contentedly, ‘‘discriminated against’’ because of her gender. Her victimization was not so severe that it prevented her from becoming the first female president of a Texas law firm as large as hers, president of the State Bar of Texas and a senior White House official. Still, playing the victim card clarified, as much as anything has so far done, her credentials, which are her chromosomes and their supposedly painful consequences. For this we need a conservative president?
I'm doing my best to withold judgement on her as a candidate (you already know my feeling on the politics of the pick) but it's hard to see anything positive about her. The conventional wisdom is that, at best, she's slighltly right of Sandra Day O'Connor. If, as Eno's earlier post may suggest, all that means is she's a Pro-Life SDO, then it's a complete loss for those of a libertarian bent.
The trouble is, both sides have gone to great effort to see that nominees can sing the Boy From Ipanema under their breath for three days, tell the committee their favorite color is blue and stroll onto the bench. I understand the reasons for a nominee not telegraphing potential votes, but how much will it hinder efforts to get at her understanding of relevant legal precedent. With John Roberts it wasn't that big a problem, since his resume and obvious intellectual heft made being qualified a non-issue. With Miers, sad to say, it is an issue.
I think presidents should have a lot of leeway in who they appoint to even positions as high as the Supreme Court, and I don't even have a problem with cronyism per se (it's a fact of life and politics, so go ahead if you can get away with it or it's worth the fight), so I'll hold off calling for her rejection by the Senate for now. But she should be questioned hard on anything that's fair game and be forced to prove that she's studied for this test. And Republicans who feel she hasn't passed that test should feel no compunction in voting her down.
Update: Or rather a clarification. The post on Confirm Them was, obviously, from yesterday. Since everyone and their brother is quoting the Will piece today, it's hardly an advance copy to anyone getting it from this post. So....yeah. Whatever.