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Monday, October 03, 2005

Harriet Miers? Non-Judge to Supreme Ct Justice?

You have to wonder sometimes if George Bush's world view extends beyond the State of Texas and a small outpost called Washington, D.C. Bush has the opportunity and responsibility to name a replacement on the bench of the United States Supreme Court and he looks no further than his former personal White House Counsel from the State of Texas who has NO PREVIOUS EXPERIENCE as a judge to the highest court in the land.

Why?

Once again it appears that the personal relationship to Bush trumps qualifications. A loyal friend does not equal a well-qualified appointee to an important position.

Makes you wonder if Bush was not considering the possible scenario where Bush or one of his Senior Administration officials will have one of their own cases arrive before the Supreme Court, and his overriding concern had be to "stack the deck" in his favor should that situation arise.

It is not clear that an attorney who spent most of her career in private practice from the State of Texas is the best qualified candidate for this position. Her list of past clients includes Microsoft and Disney, which indicates she has wielded the corporate shield in the past. We have no evidence that she ever represented any clients in the public interest against corporate interests. Troubling news in this time of power wielded by special interest groups flush with cash.

We have no written record of her decisions as a sitting judge to show us where she might stand on important issues now pending before the Supreme Court. Abortion, civil rights, sexual equality, right to privacy, the list could go on and on. We do not know if she has an opinion on any of these issues, and if she has one what that opinion might be. We also have nothing to examine which might indicate her intellectual ability and grasp of the law.

It would appear that by selecting Miers as his nominee Bush is sending the message to the American public "just trust me, she is a good woman with a good heart." If that were enough, any female Red Cross worker would be qualified as his nominee for this position which carries with it a "lifetime" appointment.

Can we afford to risk approving Miers appointment to such an important position when we know so little about her?

The ball is in the Senate's court now. Will the duly elected Senators perform their duty to examine and determine that this nominee is qualified before giving her their stamp of approval by confirming her? Or will they view this as a political appointment which they must support in lockstep along party lines because the head of the Executive Branch of government says they must?

With all the important 5-4 decisions on the books over the last decade, this could be the most important Supreme Court nominee in our Nation's history.

If the Senate does its job, this should be a bumpy ride which requires a slow and thorough examination of this nominee. A wrong decision at this point could have lasting ill effects on this country and its way of life for so long as Harriet Miers might live.

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