< link rel="DCTERMS.isreplacedby" href="http://davejustus.com/" >

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

More thoughts on Miers

John Hinderaker of Power Line comes to the conclusion that I am leaning toward on Miers:

I don't think Miers was one of the best nominees Bush had available, but no one asked my opinion (or Will's). The bottom line is, the President gets to appoint Supreme Court justices. Miers is easily--very easily, in my opinion--within the range of qualified nominees that it would be improper for the Senate to reject. I think her qualifications are better, for example, than Ruth Ginsburg's were. I think it would be very foolish for Republicans to start campaigning for Senators to refuse Miers confirmation, on the theory that we would then get someone better. If Bush gets another nomination, we probably will get someone about whom I am more enthusiastic, but in the meantime, Miers is the President's nominee and she ought to be confirmed.
It is an interesting question on what the role of the Senate Confirmation should be. Some think that it is the role of the Senators to be a reletively equal partner in picking the Supreme Court Judges with a definate interest in assuring that their views of the most qualified and ideologically favorable (to each Senator's ideology) candidates get the job. Others lean toward a notion that the Senate's real job here is to assure that the minimum qualifications are met, and as long as that happens, they should defer to the President's choice. I certainly lean toward the second line of reasoning. Historically, so have most Republicans, the confirmation of Ginsburg being exhibit A on that. Democrats have leaned more toward the first interpretation than Republicans do, although they have historically given a lot of deference to the President in this regard. The Roberts confirmation was of course a big shift toward the Senators as equal partners philosophy. It is interesting then to observe the response to Miers throughout the conservative chattering heads. I think it fair to say that a fair amount of hipocracy is being displayed on this issue. Of course it is a seperate issue entirely between acknowledging that a President has a right to choose the Supreme Court Justices and agreeing with that decision. It is certainly allowable for a disgusted Republican to lower or cease supporting the party over this nomination. It is certainly allowable criticize the choice, and explain why X nominee would have been better. I am still a bit up in the air about how much I personally agree with the Miers nomination. I am leaning toward not ideal, but acceptable and not worth getting to worked up over.


Blogger The probligo said...

Dave, regarding the role of the Senate is there perhaps a third part?

Consider, as an example, what might have been the reaction had JFK nominated Robert to lead the SCOTUS instead of appointing to Attorney General. AG (I understand) is a purely political appointment whereas Chief Justice SCOTUS is quite a different position.

So, apart from anything else, is the Senate role in Judicial appointments intended to ensure that nominations are appropriate and independant as well as qualified and experienced?

If so, that should put quite a different light on Miers?

10/05/2005 02:19:00 PM  
Blogger The probligo said...

By way of comparison, appointment to all Courts in NZ is by the government from nominations made by the NZ Law Society. The government would have to have good, very good, reason to depart from those nominations.

The government recommends appointment to the High Court and Supreme Court to the Govenor General (figurehead representative of HMtQ) who gets her little rubber stamp out...

10/05/2005 02:28:00 PM  
Blogger The probligo said...

Bush said. ''It's important that whomever I pick is viewed as an independent person from politics. It's this independence of the Fed that gives people, not only here in America but the world, confidence.''

So the economy is more important than the judiciary?

This is at least as important as a supreme court nomination.

So why is it that everyone is not pushing this principle in relation to the Miers nomination?

10/05/2005 11:12:00 PM  
Blogger Dave Justus said...

Miers is not related to Bush. They have worked together for a long time, and apparently greatly respect one another, but that has never been considered a disqualifying trait in the past.

I don't know that Attorney General is more 'political' than the Supreme Court. Arguably, a 'crony' (or brother) as AG could be more dangerous than as a Supreme Court Judge. People generally agree that Bobby Kennedy was qualified, and he probably would have made a decent Supreme Court Judge, although it is questionable whether he would have wanted the job.

We have the American Bar association (probably similar to the NZ Law Society) review a candidate after nomination. I expect that Miers will recieve a fairly high ranking from that organization. She was President of the Texas Bar association, and seems to be well regarded by her peers.

As for your last point regarding the Fed, the Supreme Court is definately a 'political' organization. There is a reason we talk about 'conservative' and 'liberal' judges. The Chairman of the Federal Reserve has more power than any single judge, arguably more power to effect more people than the entire court.

That isn't why we don't want that position 'politicized' however. What we want to avoid is the fed making bad decisions with short term benefits to sway politics. Judges can't really do that, but a Fed Reserve Chairman arguably could. So we don't want a partisan as Fed Chairman.

10/06/2005 06:24:00 AM  
Blogger The probligo said...

"Related" is a matter of measurement.

Bluntly, the relationship between personal counsel and client is rated sufficiently close for your own justice system to legislate against the breach of its confidentiality.

Would Bush find a new counsel for his "private" business? Would he break all contact with one of his closest advisers - a relationship that has existed for, how many?, years.

First, for the sake of appearance, I would hope that God would tell him to. Second, I doubt that "over dinner" discussions" would cease.

10/07/2005 12:27:00 PM  
Blogger Dave Justus said...

"Would Bush find a new counsel for his "private" business?"

Obviously. Miers would be a Judge not a lawyer giving council.

"Would he break all contact with one of his closest advisers - a relationship that has existed for, how many?, years."

About 10 years. Obviously they would still be aquainted, the President and all of the Justices see each other now and then, even visiting one another on occassion. This wouldn't be a 'new' thing. Judges go to parties all the time.

Bush will only be President for about 2 and a half years after she is confirmed. It is unlikely that any huge conflicts of interest will appear, and anyone the President appointed would perhaps have a conflict in such a matter.

Pretty much any lawyer or judge who is going to become a member of the supreme court will have rubbed elbows with the powerful in DC. That is a simple fact.

10/07/2005 12:40:00 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home