I have tried hard to give the White House and Harriet Miers the benefit of the doubt on her nomination and to withhold judgment. But I can no longer do so. The damage from this disastrous selection has gotten worse and worse every day, and there is every reason to think that it will continue to compound.
The badly muddled thinking in the speech that Miers delivered in 1993 (and that the Washington Post reported on today) is only the latest in a mounting pile of evidence that makes it implausible to hold out hope any longer that Miers will prove to be a sound judicial conservative. I don’t see how anything she says at her hearing–or anything else that realistically emerges between now and then–can offset this evidence.
Harriet Miers has earned the president’s trust and deserves our respect, and it is lamentable that some folks, in their deep disappointment at her nomination, have been excessive in their criticisms of her. But I see no reason why anyone concerned about the problem of judicial usurpation of the political processes should trust that a Justice Miers would be part of the solution.
It also appears highly doubtful that Miers timely made available to the White House decisionmakers all the information about her that would have been necessary to a proper vetting. Granted, she was apparently in the dark about her own candidacy for a long period of time, but by her own account she had some two weeks to provide necessary information.
At this point the only course of action that will entitle Miers to continued respect is for her to ask the president to withdraw her nomination. Pronto.