Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

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The Miers aftermath

If you’re looking for coverage of the relationship between the White House and the conservative movement, there are these WaPo articles and this Washington Times piece. E.J. Dionne, Jr. gloats about how difficult it will be for Republicans to return to their strategy for dignified judicial nomination processes. And the Post editorializes in the following vein:

The Miers debate gave the lie to a common Republican assertion that the judicial nomination wars are a struggle between liberals demanding particular results from the courts and conservatives bent on fidelity to a coherent judicial methodology. Rather, there are people in both parties for whom results on social issues trump everything; similarly, there are people on both sides for whom seriousness about the law as a discipline independent of politics remains the lodestone of a good judge.

This is surely true, though the proportions on both sides are, so far as I can tell, quite different. The bulk of the conservative concern about Miers stemmed from the fact that she didn’t seem to have a coherent theoretical basis for judicial restraint. And while half the Democrats in the Senate did bow to the inevitable and support the appointment of John Roberts, the liberal interest groups--and every Democratic Senator with presidential ambitions (I’m assuming Joe Lieberman no longer has any)--offered results-driven opposition.

Update: Hugh Hewitt echoes some of Dionne’s points, with more nuance and without the gloating.

Discussions - 4 Comments

not "true" that Mier’s pressured withdraw equates to an "advise and consent" filibuster of a judicial nominee, for no other reason than the filibusters disagreed with the nominee’s perceived political thinking. It’s not even close!

The present-day, no pain, filibuster rules offer the irresistible opportunity for minority to run roughshod over the majority. The Founders were keen to this "tyranny of the minority" being every bit as destructive to the body-politic as unrestrained majority rule. I hope, with Bush’s new nominee, we conservatives can finally crush this infantile minority into the idealess pulp they truly are.

Maybe then they will finally begin to eagerly search for new ideas rather than engage in mindless scandalmongering, race-baiting and the politics of personal destruction.

Fortunately, there were no confirmation hearing for Miers, so this particular item will probably stay below the radar.

The yikes paragraphs:

"Miers, who’s now the White House counsel, chaired the three-person Texas Lottery commission from 1995 to 2000.

Another lottery official has claimed Miers let a company keep its contract because one of its lobbyists helped President Bush get into the National Guard in the 1960’s."

i heard the lotto is under investigation. good thing she quit, or schumer would have eaten her alive.

I find Dionne’s position interesting and may actually be recognizing the opening of a Pandora’s box of sorts. What the last two nominations have shown is that there is a difference between the two parties in how they view advise and consent. For the Republicans, the fact that the Democrat president nominated someone of his political philosophy was expected, and they then cooperated and confirmed Ms. Ginsburg who is a liberal, believing that they had no call to reject her based on her philosophy.

For the Democrats, they appear to believe that they hold a moral superiority position and must only confirm someone that holds at least part of their "superior" views.

The real test will be what happens over the next two nominations. I expect that the Republican centrists who signed up to help prevent the modification of the filibuster rule will largely be gone over this next election cycle; they did not make any Democrat friends and lost many Republican ones.

I further predict that the next nomination will be bloody and may result in the filibuster rule being again revisited (whether or not it is changed is still not clear to me) but that there will be blood on the Senate floor. To paraphrase Patton, it is up to the Republicans to make sure that the Democrats spill their own blood, not that of the Republicans. We will see if the Republicans can muster enough will to make it happen this way.

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