Lee P Butler

Harriet Miers Is The Nominee, So Lets Bring On The Judges

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Bush shifts debate on Miers / Joseph Curl and Charles Hurt
The White House yesterday sought to move away from a debate over Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers' religion to tout her qualifications for the high court, returning to the strategy devised before last week's conservative outcry against the nomination.

 Harriet Miers Is The Nominee, So Let’s Bring On The Judges 


Lee P. Butler

Columnist Charles Krauthammer wrote, “Nominating a constitutional tabula rasa to sit on what is America’s constitutional court is an exercise of regal authority with the arbitrariness of a king giving his favorite general a particularly plush dukedom.”

From the moment that column ran, media elitists have glommed onto that sentiment of ‘exceptional cronyism’ he was leveling towards President Bush and his Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers and they’ve expanded it to a point of almost unprecedented media saturation.

What’s fueling their fire is the fact that in this instance, liberal media pundits aren’t just spinning a story or issue so that it matches the mindset of the Left. They are actually using commentary that is coming from Conservative Republican supporters of President Bush who are upset that he didn’t nominate a more openly prominent Conservative representative.

That’s not to say media elitists aren’t ‘spinning’ the issue as fast and loose as they possibly can, because they are. But it is to say that many leading Conservative voices are having their words used against the President, his judicial nominee, and Conservatives as a whole. They are crystallizing what these Conservatives are saying and generating a ‘same-mind template’ for all Conservative speak as if they have somehow deciphered some magical Conservative hieroglyphics.

As these liberals swirl their prophetic tea leaves, they have decided that Conservatives are up in arms over the Miers nomination because of nothing more than the expectation on the Right that a ‘solid Conservative’ Court would suddenly overturn the Roe vs. Wade decision that gave women the ability to kill their unborn babies.

President Bush himself aided the media spin by saying, “People want to know why I picked Harriet Miers. They want to know Harriet Miers’ background. Part of Harriet Miers’ life is her religion. Part of it has to do with the fact that she was a pioneer woman and a trailblazer in the law in Texas.”

As innocent as that statement sounds to the average person, media elitists suddenly picked up on the President’s ‘code words’ that his nominee was religious, therefore, according to their newfound deciphering abilities, she is anti-abortion. Then these elitists threw in an additional ‘clue’ that Karl Rove had talked to Dr. James Dobson and that Dobson would support her because she was admittedly religious.

According to a Knight Ridder article concerning the Rove conversation with Dr. Dobson, his Christian organization, Focus of the Family, is an ‘evangelical group that opposes abortion’. Isn’t it amazing how a Christian organization that believes in promoting religious belief instantly became a group that opposes women killing their unborn babies?

You see, media elitists have co-opted the issue concerning Harriet Miers Constitutional philosophy, which is the heart of the Conservative debate and have changed the argument to abortion so they can use it to hammer Conservatives instead of simply reporting the news, which is supposed to be the primary objective of their position as purveyors of information to the public.

Besides the fact that the President has repeatedly said he has ‘no litmus test’ for his Supreme Court nominees, Conservative after Conservative commentator has steadily reaffirmed that they are looking for a nominee who clearly believes in Constitutional conformity. Or more specifically, a person who will interpret the Constitution as it was intended and not someone who will rule based on how they ‘feel’ it should have been intended.

That’s the philosophy that scares liberals and why the Roe vs. Wade decision is so important to them. The Supreme Court made abortion legal through fiat of their decision, which wasn’t mandated by the Constitution but by their own personal ideology. They fear a strict ‘Constitutionalist’ will not abide that precedent, which they know is not decreed by law.

And that takes us back to the actual Conservative debate over President Bush’s selection of Harriet Miers for the Supreme Court. Since she is an even more ‘stealth’ candidate than John Roberts was, less is known about her and her Constitutional philosophy so there is less to use against her during the confirmation hearings.

Many on the Right wanted a more openly Conservative candidate such as Justice Janice Rogers Brown, because more is known about her philosophy. But another aspect of that type nomination Conservatives were hoping for, was the fact that they knew liberals would have fought hard against it, probably even ‘filibustering’ the person and hence triggering the ‘nuclear option’ of preventing Senate liberals from forcing the confirmation vote to exceed a simple majority.

What many Conservatives never consider is that during the Nineties when Republicans were playing ‘nicey-nice’ with the Democrats and overwhelmingly confirming hard left liberal judges such as Ruth Bader-Ginsburg, Senate Democrats were thinking about instituting the ‘nuclear option’ themselves. Yet Republicans didn’t force the issue, so Democrats didn’t have to endure the eventual fall-out that maneuver would create.

Now, if Republicans do ever make it happen, the media will eat them alive. Besides, there are some Republicans who already know this… and though they may pay politically for it in the future… formed the group of seven Republican mavericks to prevent the ‘nuclear option’ from being used once before. So the President couldn’t trust that they wouldn’t do it again, this time undermining the very candidate Conservatives wanted confirmed.

And just as the President doesn’t have a ‘litmus test’ for choosing his nominees, there is no ‘litmus test’ for judicial philosophy. It was widely known that Justice Anthony Kennedy was considered a ‘Conservative’ and even Senator Jesse Helms supported his nomination after speaking with him where Kennedy reassured Helms that he was a devout Catholic. We now know that in spite of his religious beliefs, he has not been as Conservative as his credentials seemed to indicate.

Ultimately, there is truly only one person who knows for sure how a judge will rule once approved for the Supreme Court and in this case that person is Harriet Miers. Past rulings on cases can hurt a nominee just as much as they can help and still doesn’t dictate how a person might rule on a case in the future.

Plus, as the President continues to allude to, she was a pioneer in Texas law. The meaning of that fact continues to be overlooked by every pundit who has opined on her nomination. Being a pioneer means she forged ahead despite the restrictions and against the odds. It means she fought the system in the face of intense opposition or unknown adversity and paved a way within the structure of the law for others to follow. It means she stood her ground and set the precedent of opening doors from within the prescript.

That is the apotheosis of a Conservative and speaks louder than anything else ever could.

Copyright 2016 Lee P Butler. All Rights Reserved.