I couldn't really object to John Roberts. He's an experienced intellectual, comfortable with complex Constitutional issues, and qualified out the wazoo. At the end of the day, Roberts was an accomplished lawyer and a knowledgeable judge, if a little scant on published opinions.
Harriet Miers is none of those. She is a political hack and a longtime friend of George's. A product not of Harvard or Yale (which in itself is not a problem- I have thought for some time that the Court was a little too Ivy League centric), but of Southern Methodist- apparently the second best law school in Texas (actually- both SMU and Baylor are tied for number 52 nationally). SMU is considered a little left of center by Texas standards- which makes it predictably right of common sense for the rest of the country.
Like they say in Texas, dance with the one what brung ya. So he gave us a nominee with no published scholarship, no judicial experience, and apparently no exposure to Constitutional, criminal, or civil rights law. We can expect, however, that she will toe the line- like everyone else who was promoted from within. This was one of my reasons for not opposing Roberts- he wasn't a Bush man.
The President passed over many more qualified people to promote from within, which his is usual modus operandi. Not even conservatives are pleased by this nomination- many conservatives wanted a credentialed conservative intellectual (as if!). What we got is someone who will be predictably, reliably radical.
From Harold Meyerson-
But the conservative intellectuals have misread their president and misread their country. Four and a half years into the presidency of George W. Bush, how could they still entertain the idea that the president takes merit, much less intellectual seriousness, seriously? The one in-house White House intellectual, John DiIulio, ran screaming from the premises after a few months on the job. Bush has long since banished all those, such as Army chief of staff Gen. Eric Shinseki, who accurately predicted the price of taking over Iraq. Yet Donald Rumsfeld -- with Bush, the author of the Iraqi disaster -- remains, as do scores of lesser lights whose sole virtue has been a dogged loyalty to Bush and his blunders. Loyalty and familiarity count for more with this president than brilliance (or even competence) and conviction.
The need for an intellectual nominee is apparent when one considers that the real goal of the right is to restrict many of our basic rights. Most Americans now consider reproductive freedom and privacy to be fundamental rights. Simply overturning Roe with the same shoddy reasoning that Justice Blackmun employed to write the opinion leaves the newly right leaning Court open the same attacks that the right has used- it's a political opinion, placing personal views above the law. As Justice Scalia terms it, it would be "results oriented jurisprudence."
Of course, the President has said over and over that he wants results. Fear not, Mr. Presaident, your actions have had results.