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Ronald Cass’s piece on NRO today shoots wide. The issue is a lack of information about Miers’s judicial philosophy, not whether she served as a judge. We can get some insight into a lawyer’s judicial philosophy if they’ve given substantive speeches, written substantive articles (or books), written briefs on important constitutional issues, etc., etc. Of course the president need not choose a sitting judge. But to contend, as the president did at his press conference, that he wanted someone with different experience, i.e., other than a judge, is all well and good, but it has nothing to do with concern about judicial philosophy.

There’s also a difference between asking about a nominee’s personal views on specific cases and a nominee’s approach to interpreting the Constitution, a difference Cass glosses over. The notion that we are to suspend all curiosity and judgment about a person’s judicial philosophy is absurd. There are 300 million Americans who will affected by Harriet Miers’s decisions for years to come who don’t know her heart. And apparently that is of no import or concern by those who are furiously spinning on her behalf. Trust. Trust. Trust. I assume the same standard should apply if Hillary Clinton is our next president?


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