I suppose some other Bench Memorandists, like me, are getting e-mail from time to time calling us to account for things we say about Harriet Miers, her nomination, or the White House’s approach to this whole business. “Stop being so negative” and “give the lady a chance” about sum up the thrust of a good deal of my mail.
Today, for instance, after saying that I did not find Meyer v. Nebraska obscure, I got a few notes from people essentially saying, “aw come on, lots of lawyers know a lot of these concepts without remembering all these case names from law school.” Fair enough. But I never said Miers should be expected to remember Meyer; given her background in legal practice, I should perhaps be impressed if she did. I pointed out that the case was not obscure to me, and suggested why I thought Senator Schumer brought it up. There are traps being laid here, as Gerry Bradley concurs, and Harriet Miers better be able by the time of her hearings to recognize them when they appear.
I have tried, in all my postings here, to maintain the view that Ms. Miers may prove herself in those hearings, though I concede no presumption in her favor going in. What I’ve done all along is to comment on the things that look bad (of which there are many) and the things that look good (of which there are few) about this nomination so far. That could all change for when she testifies, though I again see little prospect for the kind of candor in the hearings that I desire.
My leaning-negative-non-position-so-far is why I have not signed David Frum’s petition, though I am much in sympathy with its spirit and recognize its political argument as powerful. Neither would I attempt to talk anyone else out of signing it, but I am not where Frum is, not quite and not yet.