Thursday, October 27, 2005

Let's be bold

It turns out that Charles Krauthammer was right when he wrote about a week ago that conflicts over the release of documents protected by executive privilege would be an excellent justification to withdraw Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers with dignity:
Hence the perfectly honorable way to solve the conundrum: Miers withdraws out of respect for both the Senate and the executive's prerogatives, the Senate expresses appreciation for this gracious acknowledgment of its needs and responsibilities, and the White House accepts her decision with the deepest regret and with gratitude for Miers's putting preservation of executive prerogative above personal ambition.
Faces saved. And we start again.
Now that she has withdrawn:
The White House said Miers had withdrawn her name because of a bipartisan effort in Congress to gain access to internal documents related to her role as counsel to the president.
And see Miers' letter to Bush. At any rate, while I do feel sorry for her, I thought she was a poor choice, for a host of reasons. Though I sometimes cringe at Ann Coulter's rhetoric, I think she puts it nicely:
But without a conservative theory of constitutional interpretation, Miers will lay the groundwork for a million more Roes. We're told she has terrific "common sense." Common sense is the last thing you want in a judge! The maxim "Hard cases make bad law" could be expanded to "Hard cases being decided by judges with 'common sense' make unfathomably bad law."
The sickness of what liberals have done to America is that so many citizens – even conservative citizens – seem to believe the job of a Supreme Court justice entails nothing more than "voting" on public-policy issues. The White House considers it relevant to tell us Miers' religious beliefs, her hobbies, her hopes and dreams. She's a good bowler! A stickler for detail! Great dancer! Makes her own clothes!
That's nice for her, but what we're really in the market for is a constitutional scholar who can forcefully say, "No – that's not my job."
We've been waiting 30 years to end the lunacy of nine demigods on the Supreme Court deciding every burning social issue of the day for us, loyal subjects in a judicial theocracy. We don't want someone who will decide those issues for us – but decide them "our" way. If we did, a White House bureaucrat with good horse sense might be just the ticket.
That's exactly the point: the issue here is not (or rather should not be) whether to permit abortions or not, but the role the judiciary should have in American society.
What I am anxious to know is whether we'll get a truly exciting nominee this time, someone worth fighting for. Real Clear Politics has a short list, and Jessica McBride thoroughly makes the case for Diane Sykes (via Ann Althouse). She lists several good reasons, but this one is most amusing:
Here's the reason it's genius: As mentioned by my email writer, a Sykes' nomination puts Wisconsin Democratic Senators Herb Kohl and Russ Feingold in a box. Wisconsin is unique in that we have TWO Democratic senators on the Senate Judiciary Committee. Both voted for Sykes last time. But they did more than that; they actively pushed her for the federal appeals court. And they were liberally quoted lavishing praise on her, saying they couldn't think of a reason to oppose her and citing the fact that she was so highly qualified blah blah blah. The humorous part is that I didn't believe Kohl and Feingold one bit that they think the Conservative Diane Sykes is the best thing since sliced bread. They just wanted Wisconsin Gov. Jim Doyle to get an appointment to the state Supreme Court. He appointed Louis Butler, who has solidified a new liberal majority on the court that is responsible for the decision on medical malpractice, among others. But now Kohl and Feingold would be in a box of their own creation. Which is deliciously humorous. What goes around comes around. They deserve it. NO RESERVATIONS about Sykes, both senators said then, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Do read the whole thing.

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