Now the question is whether the Dems should just declare victory and call it a day regarding the Supreme Court — or whether there should be serious, open-ended deliberations about Miers’ views and qualifications ahead.
This report suggests that the Democratic Leadership gave Miers “pre-approved” status:
President Bush today nominated a Texas lawyer who serves as White House counsel, Harriet Miers, to replace Justice Sandra Day O’Connor on the Supreme Court — a pick that apparently was pre-approved by Senate Democratic leadership.
In choosing Miers, Bush tapped a person who has never been a judge and therefore has no judicial record for opponents to criticize.
“She has devoted her life to the rule of law and the cause of justice,” Bush said, announcing his choice from the Oval Office with Miers at his side. “She will be an outstanding addition to the Supreme Court of the United States.”
Added the president: “She will strictly interpret our Constitution and laws. She will not legislate from the bench.”
The Miers choice will likely be a disappointment to conservatives who hoped Bush would choose someone with a stronger “originalist” record.
“It looks like he flinched,” commented Fox News analyst Bill Kristol. “It looks like a capitulation.”
If Bush had nominated a jurist with a long “paper trail” of decisions and conservative writing, he would have faced a much tougher confirmation fight in the U.S. Senate.
The record we have so far is simply insufficient to assess the qualifications of this nominee. While her resume lists impressive qualifications as a practicing attorney, it simply does not give the Senate — or the public — sufficient information to determine her qualifications to be a Supreme Court Justice and her commitment to core constitutional values.
Under the Constitution, no Supreme Court appointment can be made until and unless the Senate gives its advice and consent and the Senate — and the American people — must have the same amount and quality of information in approving the nomination as the Executive had in making it. I look forward to meeting Ms. Miers and hearing from her at the Senate Judiciary hearings, and receiving the documents necessary for us meet our joint constitutional role with the President in the appointment of Supreme Court Justices.
The tone of Kennedy’s note compared to that of Reid’s is totally different.
This may be a case where the left and right oppose Miers. The middle embraces her because they think she’s pragmatic and not an ideologue.
But all I see at the moment is that Bush likes her because she’s dependable and loyal.
Why should those traits get an easy pass on to the Supreme Court?