Point-Counterpoint

Pauli, Ben

President Bush’s recent nomination of Harriet Miers as the possible replacement of Justice Sandra Day O’Connor for a Supreme Court judgeship is perhaps the most outrageous example of this administration’s adherence to cronyism yet. To begin with, Harriet Miers has absolutely no judicial experience whatsoever. The woman nominated to sit, for life, on the highest court in the entire country has never even been a judge. Furthermore, it seems that the only major credential that Miers has for this nomination is that she is a longtime supporter of and lackey for George W. Bush. Miers’ “distinguished” career includes a number of years as a corporate lawyer, a time as Bush’s personal lawyer in Texas, and counsel for George Bush during his 1994 gubernatorial campaign, after which she was appointed as head of the lottery commission in Texas by the then-Governor Bush. In 1998 Miers was commissioned to look into Bush’s suspect National Guard record in order to minimize any scandal that might ensue during his reelection campaign. Following this, Miers filled a number of Bush-appointed positions, including her current title as White House counsel. This is not to mention the fact that she was on the judicial search committee, which ended up choosing her as the nominee.
All of this adds up to a career of professional devotion to George W. Bush, without any judicial or constitutional experience. The point of Supreme Court nominations is not for the president to simply choose one of his loyalists for the bench, but a time when a president can look among all worthy candidates (not just those in his inner circle), and choose one that has proven experience and dedication toward law to become a Supreme Court justice for life. Let’s just hope that the Senate has enough courage to stand up to Bush’s loyalist nominee and reject Harriet Miers’ nomination to the Supreme Court.

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