Conservatives are giving President Bush an unfair "pummeling" over his selection of Harriet Miers for the Supreme Court, Senate Judiciary Chairman Arlen Specter said Tuesday.To me this is not about Roe v. Wade. Don't get me wrong, I'd like to see Roe v. Wade overturned as much as the next guy, but the salient issue is how our next SCOTUS Justice will decide cases in deference to the Constitution. If a strict originalist-philosophy judge is appointed, Roe along with other poorly decided case law will be taken care of, and a period will reign when legislation from the bench, penumbra, and decision of cases based on foreign law will hopefully take a vacation for at least a generation or so. But again, none of that can happen without the proper Justice being appointed. As I have said time and time again, there's too much at stake to "just take someone's word for it" that Miers has the right stuff to do what so sorely needs to be done.
The nomination has drawn criticism from conservatives who say Miers lacks proven conservative credentials and a judicial background. They want more information on whether she would vote to overturn the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion.
**UPDATE** David Broder sees things differently:
The first thing (Leonard)Leo said was that Miers's statement accepting the nomination from Bush was significant to him. "It is the responsibility of every generation to be true to the Founders' vision of the proper role of courts in our society . . . and to help ensure that the courts meet their obligations to strictly apply the laws and the Constitution," she said. "When she talked about 'the Founders' vision' and used the word 'strictly,' " Leo said, "I thought, 'Robert Bork,' " Ronald Reagan's Supreme Court pick, who was rejected by the Senate after a bitter fight. "She didn't have to go there. She could simply have said, 'Judges should not legislate from the bench.' But she chose those words."He concludes by saying:
I asked if he was surprised that she did -- or whether it was consistent with what he knew of her judicial philosophy. He replied: "I'm not surprised that's what she believes. I'm surprised her handlers let her say it."
Was she opposed to the Roe decision? I asked. "That was not the issue. The only way to fight this within the ABA was to talk about the process" by which the endorsement was made. "It took a lot of courage to be out front on that issue" within the bar association, "especially for a woman."Again, whether or not Miers is pro- or anti-abortion is irrelevant. It is her commitment to originalist, strict constructionist philosophy in Constitutional interpretation that is in question.
And then he added that Miers is "well-regarded by antiabortion leaders in Dallas" and has written a check to at least one such group.
Finally, I asked him to compare Miers to the justice she would be replacing, if confirmed. Unlike O'Connor, he said, "she believes in legal rules, that law has a content to it. She is not one who would vacillate back and forth in a world of murky standards, which is how I see Justice O'Connor."
Maybe that's what the president meant when he said he was confident she "won't change."