For starters, and with all due respect to Mark Levin, the claim that “[e]ven David Souter had a more compelling resume that Miers” strikes me as quite mistaken. So does the statement that “Miers was chosen for two reasons and two reasons alone: 1. she’s a she; 2. she’s a long-time Bush friend.” There is, at least, a (3), namely, that President Bush and his advisors — his advisors who are, it should be remembered, entirely committed to constitutionalism in the courts — believe that Ms. Miers is a judicial conservative.
I yield to no one in my respect for the “farm team” — McConnell, Alito, Luttig, etc. — but I am also surprised that some are so quick to assume that this President, who fought hard to get home-run judges Pryor, Owen, Colloton, Brown, McConnell, Sutton, Roberts, etc., confirmed to the courts, would suddenly drop the constitutionalism-ball just to be nice to an old friend or to satisfy those demanding another female justice. This is a White House — and, more particularly, this is a White House Counsel’s office — that is well stocked with very smart conservative lawyers, who understand that few things are as important to a President’s sucess, and few tasks are as central to his constitutional obligations, as judicial nominations. Whatever our complaints might be about some of this President’s decisions, I do not think he has ever given conservatives anything to complain about when it comes to judges and Justices.
It would, we all agree, have been a horrible betrayal and an epic blunder for this President to think that by nominating a woman to the Court — a woman without, arguably, battle scars from the “culture wars” in the courts, he could please the Left or guarantee an easy nomination process. It seems to me, though, that there is no reason to think that this President thought or thinks this. President Bush clearly believes that Harriet Miers is a conservative, who does share the commitment of Justices Scalia, Thomas, Rehnquist, and Roberts to a democracy-respecting understanding of the Constitution. This is not a case where those of us who believe strongly in the rule of law are being asked to rely on the vouching of Sununu and Rudman; this is a case where an Administration that has consistently — uniformly — picked solid judges is holding out a nominee who, the Administration reports, is every bit as solid. Frankly, I’m pleased by the fact that the White House Counsel who gave us Roberts, Pryor, Owen, and Brown has been nominated to join their ranks.