Monday, October 03, 2005

Bush Nominee Angers Conservative Base

President Bush today nominated White House insider Harriet Miers to replace the retiring Sandra Day O'Connor on the US Supreme Court. The move surprised both sides of the aisle and drew sharp criticism from the President's conservative base, many of whom consider this appointment to be a betrayal of his campaign promise to appoint conservative judges. (Reuters: Bush picks insider for high court).

Little is known about Miers' views on key issues, something that could play either way in the Senate confirmation hearings. That she received Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid's (D-NV) stamp of approval, coupled with the revelation that she donated $1000 to Al Gore's presidential campaign has not set well with conservatives.

Some reports suggest that Miers is an evangelical Christian, however, which may tip the scales in favor of the right on several bell-weather issues such as abortion rights and gay marriage. Speaking on the Rush Limbaugh show, Vice President Dick Cheney commented, "I'm confident that she has a conservative judicial philosophy that you'd be comfortable with, Rush. Trust me."

We shall see. For my part, I don't care if she bills herself as a liberal or a conservative, so long as she is an originalist. What I look for in a Supreme Court justice is one who will uphold the constitution as written, not one that seeks to rewrite it based on their own personal views. Where Miers will fall is anybody's guess at this point. She looks to be a compromise nominee, however, so I suspect she will not have a difficult time in the confirmation process. Without a judicial record behind her, it's impossible to tell what impact she will have on the Supreme Court. What is certain is that she will have a baptism by fire, given the difficult issues facing this session. We will know soon enough whether or not the President erred in his choice for O'Connor's successor.



Alan Fraser said...

An evangelical Christian? Oh, that's great. Nothing we need more than one of those idiots on the Supreme Court to make Intelligent Design the law of the land.

Kannafoot said...

I'm still trying to get confirmation of that. It's made the rounds on blogs both from the left and right, but I can't find anything official that confirms it. I suspect, though, that she's going to be the new swing-vote justice. She's not going to be the conservative most Republicans hoped for, but she's probably a fairly comparable replacement for O'Connor. It's not likely this court will swing more towards the conservative side than the last one did.