Thursday, October 27, 2005

Common Sense Finally Prevails

Harriet Miers finally withdraws her own name. This is a blessing for Miers, the Administration and conservatives at large. Now President Bush needs to make good on his promise of appointing someone who has a proven track record as a strict constructionist, someone in the mold of Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas. Visit and send a message to the president.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Questions for Miers Supporters

RedState has posted an excellent list of 22 questions for the likes of Hugh Hewitt and other defenders of the Miers nomination. Sometimes you have to wonder if these people are so blindly loyal to the president that they would be willing to follow him right over a cliff.

Could This be the Final Straw for Conservatives?

Gary Bauer reported today that a number of speeches given by Harriet Miers in 1993 contain highly concerning statements regarding Miers' viewpoints on women that she admires, abortion and the role of religion in society. If this report is true, it should once and for confirm the fact that Miers is the wrong judicial candidates for conservatives. Those who call themselves conservatives and continue to defend this nomination are revealing their colors -- loyalty to a party or person versus to loyalty to conservative principles.

RINOs Nixed More Qualified Candidates

Wall Street Journal columnist John Fund has suggested that other more highly qualified candidates were nixed by Republicans! In Monday's opinion journal John writes:

"One federal judge was nixed by a powerful senator over a judicial opinion that would have been attacked by feminists. Priscilla Owen and Janice Rogers Brown, both of whom won tough confirmation battles for seats on appellate courts only this spring, were nixed by other GOP Senators as too tough a battle for the high court. Alice Batchelder of the Sixth Circuit was deep-sixed by an old Ohio political rival, Republican National Committee co-chairman Jo Ann Davidson. The White House and some senators deemed Edith Jones of the Fifth Circuit too difficult to confirm. Given Mr. Bush's idée fixe that the nominee had to be a woman, it's possible the White House allowed itself to be pushed into a corner in which Ms. Miers was literally the only female left."

We have too many people in Washington who are Republicans in Name Only (RINOs). They espouse conservative values during election cycles only to abandon those values when entering the political gauntlet within the Beltway. The botched Miers nomination is as much the responsibility of RINO Senators as it is the Administration.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

New TV Ad Airs on Fox

A newly formed conservative group has announced the launch of a television ad asking for the withdrawal of the Miers' nomination. It should be interesting to see how the White House reacts to this. I'm wondering when the Administration is going to get a clue that Harriet Miers will never be confirmed. I predict this thing will be a disaster if Miers does not withdraw before the confirmation hearings.

An Update on A Way Out

My prior post appears prophetic. Senators are demanding documents pertaining to Miers' work in the White House and the president is refusing to release the documents. Now all we need is Harriet to do the right thing and withdraw her name.

Friday, October 21, 2005

A Way Out

Charles Krauthammer has offered an ingenious way for everyone to save face in the botched nomination of Harriet Miers. The way out? An irreconcilable differences over documents. Because Miers has no record on constitutional issues, the only potential source for gauging her thinking on legal issues are the privileged documents from Miers' White House tenure. The Senate is likely to demand these documents, but the Administration will not release this kind of information. This creates the perfect stalemate, providing an honorable way for Miers to withdraw her own nomination in deference to the Senate and the White House.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Harriet Needs Remedial Training

Today it was revealed that Senate confirmation hearings, which had tentatively been set to begin on November 7, now may be delayed. It seems that Harriet Miers needs some time to "hit the books" before she will be prepared to face the Judiciary Committee. Senator Chuck Schumer has said that Miers needs "some time to learn" about key constitutional cases. Judiciary chairman Senator Arlen Specter says "It is unfair to start the hearings before she's ready."

What? Harriet needs some time to learn about constitutional law? Give me a break. We're talking about a nominee to the Supreme Court, not a new check-out person at Target. This news once again only bolsters the case that conservatives should be calling for Miers' withdrawal by signing the "Keep Your Promise" petition.

Slouching Towards Miers

Former Supreme Court nominee Judge Robert Borke provided a scathing critique of the Administration's nomination of Harriet Miers in today's Wall Street Journal. Judge Borke stated, "With a single stroke -- the nomination of Harriet Miers -- the president has damaged the prospects for reform of a left-leaning and imperialistic Supreme Court, taken the heart out of a rising generation of constitutional scholars, and widened the fissures within the conservative movement. That's not a bad day's work -- for liberals."

Judge Borke points to Ms. Miers' writings when she was president of the Texas Bar Association. David Brooks of the New York Times examined these writings, concluding that quality of her thought and writing demonstrates absolutely no "ability to write clearly and argue incisively."

Judge Borke stated that by passing over the many more clearly qualified candidates to pick a stealth candidate, George Bush is sending a message to aspiring young originalists that it is better not to say anything remotely controversial.

Judge Borke concludes by stating the net impact of this nomination has been to split the conservatives coalition.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Why "Stealth" is Wrong

The following is taken from Garry Bauer's daily letter.

I have made no secret of the fact that I believe it is a mistake for people of faith and the Republican Party to embrace a "stealth" strategy on Supreme Court nominees. Such a strategy requires that nominees for the Court not have a written or verbal record on overturning Roe v. Wade. The pro-stealth advocates argue that if a nominee did have a record in favor of repealing Roe, the nominee could not be confirmed.

My objection to the stealth strategy is two-fold. First, it is "defeatist." It assumes that even in a Senate with 55 Republicans and a few Democrats from pro-life states (Nelson in Nebraska, Landrieu in Louisiana) we can not win a direct vote if our nominee is clearly against Roe, clearly against court decisions in favor of same-sex "marriage," and clearly against court decisions that threaten religious liberty. I am not a defeatist and I am not going to start being one now. I believe we can win that debate with the public and in the Senate. But, of course, we will never know if we don't try. And by not trying we have already allowed Schumer, Feinstein, Clinton and Kennedy to triumph with their bullying tactics.

My second objection is that the strategy is corrupting. It requires us to be part of a process that says one thing to the media while whispering something else to faith-based conservatives. Thus, on the Miers nomination we are privately assured that Miss Miers is personally pro-life (which I believe to be true), while at the same time her advocates tell senators that her personal pro-life views tell us nothing about whether she will vote to overturn Roe (which, unfortunately, I also believe to be true).

To me this is very sad. It is teaching young conservatives and Christians very bad lessons about what is acceptable in politics. As people of faith we are supposed to transform politics. Instead it appears to be transforming some of us. We should be (I know it sounds naïve) speaking the truth. Unrestricted abortion-on-demand is wrong. Same-sex "marriage" is wrong. Taking "under God" out of the Pledge of Allegiance is wrong. Our nominee, we hope, will apply a judicial philosophy that leads to better results on these issues. Do you have a problem with that Senators Kennedy and Schumer? Great. Let's debate it and let the people and the Senate decide!

The preferred stealth strategy leads to the absurdities that took place yesterday. In one incident, Harriet Miers met with pro-abortion Republican Senator Arlen Specter. After the meeting, Specter excitedly told the media that Miers had endorsed a "right to privacy" in the Constitution, which is the philosophical basis for abortion-on-demand. The reporters all ran to file their stories - "She won't overturn Roe." Stop the presses! A few hours later, Miss Miers calls Senator Specter and says: "You misunderstood me. I am not going to tell you my position on privacy."In incident two, a story leaked out about a conference call in which I participated. In that conference call, two judges from Texas who know Miers reportedly said that they personally believe she would overturn Roe v. Wade. But both judges have since said publicly that in 25 years of knowing her she has never said a word about Roe. Last night, after she met with another left-wing senator, Charles Schumer (D-NY), the senator came out of his office and said that Harriet Miers was adamant, telling him, "No one knows how I would vote on Roe v. Wade." On this, I completely agree - no one does know, and that is the problem.

Also yesterday, the Capitol Hill newspaper Roll Call ran an article that cast some doubts on one of Miers' main "selling points" - her role in the vetting process for President Bush's judicial nominees. The White House Counsel's office is responsible for much of that vetting process and President Bush repeatedly said of Miers, "She knows exactly the kind of judge I'm looking for." (And because she knows the kinds of judges the president is looking for, we are supposed to assume she would be one of them herself.) But, according to Roll Call, "Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers led the selection process on only a small number of judicial nominees." This makes sense since she has only been White House Counsel for eight months.

Virtually all of the conservative, high pro-file nominees who were filibustered by Senate liberals were vetted by Attorney General Al Gonzales when he was White House counsel, not Harriet Miers. The possible exception to that may be Janice Rogers Brown. The article did note that in 2003 Miers was asked to serve on an ad hoc committee, along with at least a half dozen other White House staffers, that assisted in the vetting process. Whether or not Miers was a strong advocate for Brown remains unclear.

Today, there is a breaking story that says Miss Miers filled out a pro-life questionnaire in 1989 and in it indicated she supported a constitutional amendment banning most abortions. But before pro-lifers could take solace in that, the White House issued a statement saying the questionnaire means nothing because in 1989 she was "a candidate taking a political position," and this is "different from the role of a judge making a ruling in the judicial process." White House spokesman Scott McClellan said they are "not at all" aware how Miers would vote on overturning Roe.

And, just to make things even more odd, Senate Democrat Leader Harry Reid, whose job it is to defeat anything halfway decent that this president wants to do, yesterday sounded like he was on the White House payroll. Reid held a press conference on Capitol Hill practically begging Harriet Miers not to withdraw her nomination. He also accused Miers' conservative critics of being sexist saying, "As Laura Bush has said, as [Senator] Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) said, there is a whiff of sexism in the far right's complaining about Harriet Miers."

This debate is like riding on a yo-yo. Will she or won't she? Only she knows for sure. Call me an old fashioned, but I want to know what a judge's inclinations are. Conservative senators should have never voted for Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who thinks the age of consent should be lowered to 12. And they should be careful now.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Personal Assurances From Friends of Miers Create Problems for Her Confirmation

John Fund reported in today's Wall Street Journal that religious conservative leaders had received personal promises from Texas judges that Miers would vote to reverse Roe v. Wade. If true, this will likely create enormous problems for the confirmation of Harriet Miers. Liberals are likely to seize on this report and use it to make their case that Miers was selected primarily because she is likely to overturn Roe v. Wade.