Bench Memos

Fund and Miers

Several NRO bloggers, on the Corner and on Bench Memos, have linked today to John Fund’s OpinionJournal piece about the selection, vetting, and nomination of Harriet Miers, and — more particularly — about the supposed role and activities of deputy counsel William Kelley in and during the process. In my view, fair and cautious NRO readers should be skeptical about Fund’s premises and conclusions. Now, I admit it: Unlike Fund, I have no talkative-but-unnamed “senior White House official[s]” or “former Justice Department officials” as sources. I do not know what candidates were considered or which (if any) took themselves out of the running. I do not know if, or why, the president determined that the nominee had to be a woman; and I do not know anything about the behind-the-scenes process that produced Ms. Miers’s nomination. But, I do know Bill Kelley very well. And, I am as sure as I am of anything that there is zero possibility — zero — that Kelley would have shrunk from raising tough questions about or pointing out problems with the nomination, or that he would have subordinated concern for the Court and dedication to the Constitution to worries about his own standing or advancement in the White House. Like many NRO readers and bloggers, I wish the president had nominated someone else (although, I admit, I was initially fairly enthusiastic about the Miers selection). And, I’m as curious as anyone to know the “real story” behind the Miers pick. But, with all due respect to John Fund, I do not believe he has it.


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