Charles Krauthammer has written a column titled Withdraw This Nominee, in which he laments the nomination of Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court. Like many conservatives, he is puzzled by the nomination of an unknown, when there are so many candidates readily available with known credentials both as jurists, and as conservatives.
Krauthammer mentions that his commentary might be construed as elitism, but then notes that the Supreme Court is an elite institution where high standards are not only desirable, but required.
I’m not sure what to think about this nominee, and frankly, I doubt my opinion will become more informed by her confirmation hearings. After listening to so many fellow conservatives weigh in on this nomination with varying degrees of chagrin, I suppose my take is somewhere in the neighborhood of cautious optimism. Yes, the president could have nominated someone that is more obviously qualified, and that has a more visible or discernible philosophy.
In the end, I am at least slightly comforted by the fact that Bush has known her for quite a long time, and has made it clear what his ideal justice looks like. I just hope he didn’t punt because of his recent decline in approval rating. Sadly, we won’t really know whether Miers is suitable for at least a year, well after she is confirmed, if she is confirmed.
Krauthammer ends with, “For a presidency marked by a courageous willingness to think and do big things, this nomination is a sorry retreat into smallness.” Since this nomination is what it is, and is unlikely to be withdrawn unless something truly unforeseen happens, I hope she can prove him wrong.