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Bench Memos

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Strategy Du Jour



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Matt responds (with devastating effect) to this morning’s “Chamber of Commerce” defense of Miers’s nomination. Kathryn reports this afternoon’s strategic initiative: Miers is “fair” and “unflappable”, possessed of a perfect “judicial temperament”. Yesterday was “Pro-Life III: The Questionnaire”. (You remember the prequels: “Day One: Dobson Doppelganger”, and then “Guilt by Association: Harriet’s Really, Really Pro-life Church”.) Every other day we hear a new riff on the “Ungrateful Conservative Elitist and Sexist Crybaby” theme. One time I swear I heard a Soprano in the background vocals. Or maybe it was just Frank Sinatra singing, “If you wanna eat pasta at our table for three more years you betta shutta you face now”.

Oh, yeah, I almost forgot: Harriet Miers is funny, and an excellent bowler, too.

Stop it already! Harriet Miers got this nomination for two reasons: she is loyal to Bush, and she has — or had, prior to the release of “Pro-Life II”
– no paper trail. The problem is that neither is the slightest reason for any senator to confirm her. Or for anyone else to support her.

But, wait! That is not the punch line! When they realized that “trust me!” was not exactly bowling over the base, those in charge of this fiasco could have withdrawn the nomination. They did not. Or they could have decided to take their medicine, to play the losing hand and tough it out with dignity. They have not. Instead the Administration has insulted its most loyal supporters, split the Party, and played this silly game of Miers Strategy du Jour.

Worst of all, however, is this: rather than admit its mistake, the Administration instead defines — and redefines and then defines anew, again and again — the qualities of a good Supreme Court Justice, and thus what it takes to do constitutional law and even what constitutional law is, all to suit this unsuitable nominee.

Talk about results oriented jurisprudence.



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