Saturday, October 22, 2005

Thoroughly Confused: But not as confused as Harriet Miers. What the hell's going on here?
Asked to describe the constitutional issues she had worked on during her legal career, Supreme Court nominee Harriet E. Miers had relatively little to say on the questionnaire she sent to the Senate this week.

And what she did say left many constitutional experts shaking their heads.

At one point, Miers described her service on the Dallas City Council in 1989. When the city was sued on allegations that it violated the Voting Rights Act, she said, "the council had to be sure to comply with the proportional representation requirement of the Equal Protection Clause."

That's not the answer of an "originalist." That's not even the answer of a chuckleheaded ABA hack. There are wild-eyed, reparations-demanding members of the NAACP who don't believe the Equal Protection clause even suggests proportional representation, let alone requires it.

I sometimes wonder about Bush's -- and Karl Rove's -- potential for duplicity. Could this all be a ruse? What does he gain by having a moderate torpedoed in committee? As the above article suggests, a quick vetting by some of the big brains at the White House could have kept a dumb answer like this from making it out. Where did that process break down?

This will only get more fascinating to watch as it progresses. For a while I was agnostic on Miers's qualifications, and I was pretty sure a trained seal could handle the associate justice slot. At this point, though, the trained seal is looking a lot better by comparison, just as long as it's not a seal related by blood to Dave Souter.

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