Monday, October 03, 2005

Harriet Miers Is Nominated To SCOTUS

This nomination has me caught in two minds. Part of me is upset and disappointed that the president passed over a few very qualified nominees, while part of me is inclined to think this is a big picture move that will prove right in the long run.

I would rather have seen a Luttig or a McConnell appointed to the bench, as these are clearly the best suited judges to fill the vacancy. Their service on the district court level has demonstrated this, and their brilliant minds are forces to be reckoned with. Miers has little (at best) judicial experience, and as a result members of the Republican party have taken offense with her nomination. I don't fault those who feel this way; I share a lot of their frustrations.

But there is also reason to believe that Miers is a more strategic appointment then many would like to concede. The fact that Miers is a woman --which is something that Democrats were calling for-- helps her cause for confirmation. Also, because of her lack of judicial involvements, she has close to no track record on political opinions or rulings that could be cited for potential decisions on the SCOTUS. These facts will make her confirmation easy, and she should have no problem getting the seat she was appointed to.

Furthermore, her experience in the White House should be considered largely important in how she'll go about her business on the SCOTUS. Five solid years with the Bush administration will give her unique perspective in reaching judicial decisions, and the case could be made that this will help her to steer the court in a more conservative direction. This is what the White House has argued as it reasons for Miers' appointment, and I hope this holds. If she turns out to be another O'Connor, then the president will look back on this decision with regret.

In any case, while the Republican Party is divided on this appointment, it cannot let itself become two separate, opposing camps. Republicans should agree to disagree, and move forward with the push to seat more Republican Congressmen and Senators in the 2006 elections. If Republicans can continue to take strides at retaining solid majorities in both houses, then policy will go the way we want, and when we win the next presidential election we'll be in a really good place for the next SCOTUS nomination, which is where McConnell or Luttig should make their appearance.