Bench Memos

NRO’s home for judicial news and analysis.

Sex vs. Credentials


I can’t entirely agree, Kathryn. Remember, Bush originally nominated Roberts in July to succeed O’Connor, and the outrage that a woman was being replaced by a man was very muted and lasted about five minutes, because Roberts’s credentials were so very strong. Why Bush resisted the “appoint a woman to succeed a woman” mantra in July, only to succumb to it in October, is a mystery to me.

But if Miers were male, I think there would be even more widespread questioning of her (his) credentials as thin and unsuitable for the Supreme Court. (I repeat what I have said here before, that perhaps Justice Miers will be terrific, but the risk that she won’t be is too great if we continue to play “don’t ask, don’t tell” games about momentous cases in recent Court history.) I may invite bolts from Mt. Olympus hurled at my head, but would Hugh Hewitt, for instance, be so positive about Harry Miers, the nebbish from the counsel’s office who has never published, never been a judge, never been in the fray of constitutional jurisprudence, whose only recommendation is that the president knows him and trusts him?


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