Thursday, October 27, 2005

Miers Withdraws

At Harriet Miers's request, Pres. Bush today withdrew her nomination for the Supreme Court. The nomination was withdrawn after increasing criticism of the nomination from conservatives and, to a lesser extent, liberals.

The final nail in the coffin appears to have been the discovery yesterday of a speech Miers gave in 1993 to Executive Women of Dallas. In the speech, Miers appears to support judicial activism when legislators fail to solve problems, to agree with liberal talking points on different justice for blacks and whites, and to equate abortion protesters with terrorists.

I was disappointed by Bush's nomination of Miers, given the availability of so many other better qualified candidates, but I was willing to support her confirmation if she performed reasonably well in her hearings and showed a conservative judicial philosophy with an element of judicial restraint.

The nomination of Miers split Bush's conservative base. In that respect, the nomination was a political disaster for Bush and Republicans. Forcing the nomination to a vote would have put several Republican senators in the uncomfortable position of alienating either Miers's supporters or her detractors. Withdrawal of the nomination was probably the least bad way to put an end to the political agony on the Right.

Liberal Democrats who criticized Miers, many of whom were not going to vote to confirm her, have conveniently forgotten their own criticisms as they seek to blame conservative extremists for the withdrawal of the nomination. Not a single Democrat senator ever committed to vote for Miers. Although no Republican senator publicly announced opposition to Miers, their support was lukewarm or worse. There was doubt whether Miers would have been confirmed by the Senate.

Because so little was known about Miers, critics and supporters made mountains out of insignificant events. The lack of a paper trail, which seemed an advantage when Miers was nominated, became a reason for attacks from all sides.

Miers did not deserve to be treated so harshly. While her resume did not match John Roberts's, whose does? We at Quite Right wish Miers well and hope that she continues to serve Pres. Bush in her current capacity.

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