And I believe him. The President said in a press conference this morning that Harriet Miers is a strict constructionist who won’t “legislate from the bench” or “supplant the legislative process.” Bush said further that he thought Miers was the best person for the job, “otherwise I wouldn’t have put her on.”
I don’t doubt that Miers is a strict constructionist, although what that means in particular cases is not always self-evident, and I’d be more confident if she had spent years wrestling with the tough issues of Constitutional law and had a track record to show where she had come out.
More important, though, is the fact that Miers is generally perceived as being not particularly qualified for the Court, other than by her friendship with the President. As I wrote yesterday, I think that perception may be unfair to some degree. But I think the perception is important. We conservatives are right about the issues of Constitutional interpretation that are at stake in the Supreme Court. We are right, and we have a large majority of voters on our side on the broad issue of the role of the Court. This is an area where we can and should take the high ground.
Republican Presidents should be known for putting the most highly qualified, brilliant legal thinkers on the federal appellate courts, especially the Supreme Court. If the Democrats want to nominate hacks, that’s fine. But the Republicans have a stable of potential nominees who are leaders in the profession and are top-notch thinkers in the tradition of Scalia and Thomas. John Roberts was one, and he is typical of the kind of nominee that the public should expect from Republican Presidents. There were plenty more where Roberts came from. President Bush missed an opportunity to drive home with the public the fact that the most brilliant and most principled thinkers in the legal profession are conservatives, not liberals.
Via Power Line News.
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