Wednesday, October 26

JOHN HAWKINS' "21 CLUB"

No, this widely-read, right-of-center blogger has not gone into the restaurant business in New York. Instead, he's compiled 21 reasons why the compendium of arguments in favor of Harriet Miers' nomination is the proverbial "dog that don't hunt," as they say down here in Texas.

Among my favorites that particularly resonate with me:

3) Miers may turn out to be another Scalia. True, but that seems more unlikely by the day. On the other hand, Miers may also turn out to be another Souter. When we have a Republican President who promised to appoint conservative judges and 55 Republican Senators, we deserve better than a coin flip for a nominee to the Supreme Court of the United States.

5) The President has a right to select whatever nominee he wants for the Supreme Court: Agreed. But, the rest of us have every bit as much of a right to criticize that pick, encourage him to withdraw the nomination, and to demand that Senators vote against the nominee.

6) The President deserves great deference in his selections for the Supreme Court: Agreed. But, I would argue that after promising to appoint judges like Scalia and Thomas on the campaign trail, he exceeded the level of deference he deserves to be given with his selection of an under qualified crony, with no originalist credentials, for the Supreme Court.

9) But, President Bush knows her personally. Shouldn't that count for a lot? David Frum knows Harriet Miers personally and he's leading the opposition to her candidacy. Jerry Bartos, a conservative member of the Dallas City Council knew her and rated her effectiveness at "zero." Ned Ryun, a presidential writer who had a run in with her said he, "started laughing," when he heard she might be nominated because he couldn't believe it was true. Bruce Packard, a former partner at Harriet Miers law firm said she was "liberal on issues other than abortion." The President may know and adore Ms. Miers, but since there are so many other people who know her and don't have a high opinion of her, it seems unwise to place much stock in his personal opinion alone.

14) Harriet Miers was probably the best Bush could get. No other nominee could have gotten through the Senate. Hogwash! There are 55 Republican Senators, probably 51 or 52 votes for the nuclear option if need be, and John Roberts made it through the Senate with 78 votes. Given how white hot the base is about judges and how much pressure there would have been on Republican Senators to vote for any well liked candidate, it's likely that there are, at a minimum, a dozen more worthy candidates than Miers that Bush could have gotten confirmed by the Senate -- and still could.

21) Even if Miers isn't a great candidate, is she really worth this sort of fight? Absolutely! We're talking a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court here and the Justice who fills that slot will be making far reaching decisions that will impact our lives in a myriad of ways. If this isn't worth a fight, then what is?