You're fine with a Supreme Court nominee with no judicial experience at all
Yep, like many SCOTUS justices before her.
With no written record of legal thinking that isn't sealed off by Executive privilege
You're exaggerating, Jaq. The woman has a 35 year legal career. In addition to that, as the Dallas Morning News notes, she's served on a major city council, in state government, led a big law firm and local and state bar associations. There are written records in there, though not 'judicial opinions'. Though her White House work is sealed, it's very good experience. We have a non-ivory tower nominee here, and I say that's a good thing.
On what basis can you possibly be fine with Harriet Miers?
Trying to establish this...
Do you really think the President couldn't find someone better?
Is that really the point? Define 'someone better'? Based on what criteria? There are, I'm sure, hundreds, if not thousands, of qualified nominees.
Now, departing from Jaq's objections while answering them more fully and filling out my position here:
+ First, I'll go ahead and quote Tom's entire post on this subject.
To me, this choice is great. I love the idea of the non-judge (though she's still a lawyer) and the politico. That sort of homogeneity is just plain wrong for an institution as important as the Supreme Court. No more weirdo, life-led-in-a-legal-cocoon types.
So Miers is a Bush loyalist. Big deal! He's supposed to pick people he doesn't like, doesn't know, doesn't trust?In combination (Roberts and Miers), the Dems cannot complain about these picks. America does just fine.
+ My own Senator, Lindsey Graham, R-SC, says let's hear what she has to say, and I agree with him.
+ On to the political environment: Democrats should also be happy with the Miers nomination because, along with everything else challenging the Bush presidency, it is further dividing Republicans. The Democrats don't have to lift a finger. They get everything they want, including a probably moderate judge who has been germane to things like gay rights in the past. The Democrats only need six seats to control the Senate. But can they actually get their act together enough to win them? I doubt it. They've been massively politically dysfunctional for the last 8 years, but I hope so because it would make for a tougher political environment that would hopefully produce more competition and better results. The Inner Game of Tennis says you want your opponent to be good to bring out the best in you. That's what I want in our bi-partisan system.
+ Two more marginally related notes:
- David Broder writes today about some interesting analysis of politically 'orthodox innovators' and their ultimate fall to 'sectarian infighting' .
- SCOTUS meta-concern: I am concerned about judicial nominee non-answers on issues brought up in hearings. They need to retain independence, but we also probably need a better idea of where they're likely headed...