I have been trying to keep an open mind on Harriet Miers, in large part because I fear that a confirmation failure will make it much harder for the President to put forward a distinguished nominee in its aftermath. But the signs out there are not good. As I noted earlier, evangelicals are not exactly rallying behind her, rightly preferring to see her show her stuff. Its also quite clear that Republican Senators and their staffers are not exactly solidly in her corner. The two Judiciary Committee Senators most closely identified with social conservatives, Tom Coburn and Sam Brownback, are, according to the NYT, among the most skeptical. If they live up to their advance billing in the press (not a totally reliable source, Ill concede), the hearings could well be a bloodbath, with Miers essentially facing difficult and/or hostile questioning without much assistance from anyone on the other side of the table. I hope Mier has the resources to take it or the realism to recognize that she cant.
"If great intellectual powerhouse is a qualification to be a member of the court and represent the American people and the wishes of the American people and to interpret the Constitution, then I think we have a court so skewed on the intellectual side that we may not be getting representation of America as a whole," Coats said.
Leaving aside the fact that representation is supposed to provide for leaders who deserve it by being in some respects more able than their constituents, Coats misunderstands the Courts principal constituency, which is not the people simply, but the "constitutional people," whose wishes are embodied in the document. If the Court is supposed to be a representative body in the sense that Coats suggests, then we might as well just abandon the Constitution altogether and let the elected representatives duke it out.