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Old 10-03-2005, 05:45 PM   #1
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Bush picks aide for Supreme Court

Bush picks aide for Supreme Court

US President George Bush has chosen a close aide, White House counsel Harriet Miers, for a key Supreme Court vacancy.

If approved by the Senate, Ms Miers - who has never sat as a judge - will take up the place left by Sandra Day O'Connor, who stepped down in July.

Ms Miers, 60, said she was humbled. The Supreme Court is one of the most influential bodies in US public life.

But some of Mr Bush's supporters have expressed concern at her lack of conservative credentials.

Mr Bush's announcement came as the Supreme Court prepared for its first day of work after the summer recess.

The nine-member court will be considering some of the most bitterly contested social issues in the US, including assisted suicide, abortion, same-sex marriage, human cloning and campaign finance law.

Precedent

Without a judicial record, it is not clear where Ms Miers lies on such contentious issues.

Democrats are likely fight the nomination if they think it tips the court's balance towards the right. Sandra Day O'Connor was considered the holder of a key swing vote on the court.

Speaking from the Oval Office, Mr Bush said the Texan-born lawyer Harriet Miers had "devoted her life to the rule of law and the cause of justice".

He also named other justices who had been appointed to the Supreme Court without previous experience on the bench, including the late Chief Justice Rehnquist.

Republican Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist said Mr Bush had picked "another outstanding nominee".

"Ms Miers is honest and hard-working and understands the importance of judicial restraint and the limited role of a judge to interpret the law," he said.

The BBC's Oliver Conway in Washington says Mr Bush appears to have reached out to the middle ground, by picking a woman and by apparently consulting with Democrats before making his decision.

'Assertive'

The Senate minority leader, Democrat Harry Reid, who voted against John Roberts as US chief justice in his confirmation vote last week, said he liked Ms Miers.

"In my view, the Supreme Court would benefit from the addition of a justice who has real experience as a practicing lawyer," he said.

But Democrat Charles Schumer, a member of the Judiciary Committee, suggested Ms Miers' lack of a judicial record could cause problems.

"Americans will need to know a lot more about Miers' judicial philosophy and legal background before any vote for confirmation," he said.

Some conservative groups have expressed disappointment with her nomination, saying they had been promised a staunchly conservative candidate.

"The president's nomination of Miers is a betrayal of the conservative, pro-family voters," said the conservative advocacy group Public Advocate.

Ms Miers, 60, has been serving as President Bush's top legal counsel since November 2004.

Monday also sees Chief Justice John Roberts take up the helm of the Supreme Court for the first time.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/4304684.stm

I'm surprised no one's posted this. I've never heard of her, so I don't really know what to think.
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Old 10-03-2005, 06:05 PM   #2
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I think the pick is brilliant. She is immune from both the right and the left with no judicial rulings to pick apart.
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Old 10-03-2005, 06:08 PM   #3
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Just like the last one then? Pretty smart strategy I guess.
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Old 10-03-2005, 06:10 PM   #4
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What he's not putting Pat Robertson in there?
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Old 10-03-2005, 06:21 PM   #5
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I don't know much of anything about her, but it worries me that Chuck Schumer seems rather appeased with his decision. After all the failed stunts that were pulled on Roberts, I have reason to believe that GWB could've served us with a much more conservative and much more experienced judge. Seems like another attempt to play "Mr. Moderate" and avoid controversy by picking a nobody.
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Old 10-03-2005, 06:29 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by Dreadsox
I think the pick is brilliant. She is immune from both the right and the left with no judicial rulings to pick apart.


politically brilliant? or good for America brilliant?

we've kicked this around all day in another thread ... i think it's another example of Bush's cronyism. she's so ... average. there are probably a dozen or so more qualified women out there, but he goes with the one slavishly devoted to him.

surprise?

no way.
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Old 10-03-2005, 06:30 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by Macfistowannabe
I don't know much of anything about her, but it worries me that Chuck Schumer seems rather appeased with his decision. After all the failed stunts that were pulled on Roberts, I have reason to believe that GWB could've served us with a much more conservative and much more experienced judge. Seems like another attempt to play "Mr. Moderate" and avoid controversy by picking a nobody.
Maybe he's actually trying to be the uniter he's always claimed to be.
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Old 10-03-2005, 06:38 PM   #8
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Originally posted by BonoVoxSupastar


Maybe he's actually trying to be the uniter he's always claimed to be.


but the Right is *furious* with this pick ...

granted, this is culled from Salon, but they quote the words of right wing bloggers/pundits:

Quote:
When Bush selected Roberts, the Weekly Standard's Bill Kristol called it an "important and courageous" decision. Today, Kristol declares himself "disappointed, depressed and demoralized." "It is very hard to avoid the conclusion that President Bush flinched from a fight on constitutional philosophy," Kristol writes. "Miers is undoubtedly a decent and competent person. But her selection will unavoidably be judged as reflecting a combination of cronyism and capitulation on the part of the president ... What does this say about the next three years of the Bush administration -- leaving aside for a moment the future of the court? Surely this is a pick from weakness. Is the administration more broadly so weak? What are the prospects for a strong Bush second term?"

At National Review Online, the posters are working themselves up into a collective lather. Rich Lowry wonders if conservatives will have to take back everything they've ever said about competence trumping diversity, while Ramesh Ponnuru sneers that the Miers nomination is an "inspiring testament to the diversity of the president's cronies. Wearing heels is not an impediment to being a presidential crony in this administration!"

David Frum reaches for a sports metaphor, but not the one John Roberts favored. Frum says the Miers nomination is an "unforced error." "This is the moment for which the conservative legal movement has been waiting for two decades -- two decades in which a generation of conservative legal intellects of the highest ability have moved to the most distinguished heights in the legal profession. On the nation's appellate courts, in legal academia, in private practice, there are dozens and dozens of principled conservative jurists in their 40s and 50s unassailably qualified for the nation's highest court ... There was no reason for [Bush] to choose anyone but one of these outstanding conservatives."

Michelle Malkin offers a similar view: "It's not just that Miers has zero judicial experience," she says. "It's that she's so transparently a crony/'diversity' pick while so many other vastly more qualified and impressive candidates went to waste. If this is President Bush's bright idea to buck up his sagging popularity -- among conservatives as well as the nation at large -- one wonders whom he would have picked in rosier times."

Conservative blogger and talk show host Hugh Hewitt isn't quite so devastated, but he's not exactly cheering from the balcony, either. He calls Miers "a solid B+ pick." Miers isn't as qualified as other short-listers the president might have chosen, Hewitt says, but Bush knows Miers so well that conservatives who trust him ought to feel comfortable that he wouldn't have named Miers to the bench if he had any doubts about her conservative bona fides.

But they're not buying it at Confirmthem.com, a site organized to back Bush's previous judicial nominees. One poster complains that Bush has "lied to" conservatives by promising to appoint justices in the Scalia/Thomas mold but then naming a "disastrous enigma on Roe" instead. Another calls the Miers nomination the "'read my lips' disaster" of the second Bush administration. And a third declares: "Karl Rove should go to jail for this, not Plamegate."
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Old 10-03-2005, 06:39 PM   #9
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From AP

"As a leader of the bar, Harriet Miers was a fearless and very strong proponent of conservative legal views. She led a campaign to have the American Bar Association end its practice of supporting abortion-on-demand and taxpayer-funded abortions,"
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Old 10-03-2005, 06:42 PM   #10
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The ones on the right who are furious want a "shove it in your face, Roe will be overturned, conservative." The kind of nominee I think you were expecting.

Besides, you won't make the headlines if you write a well-reasoned article based on the small amount of information we know.
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Old 10-03-2005, 06:42 PM   #11
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She hasn't practiced or taught constitutional law. Hasn't been a judge. Not much of a record, period. But hey, Schumer and Reid don't seem upset. And she did contribute to Lloyd Bentson and Al Gore's campaigns.

What a disappointing and underwhelming nominee from a conservative president. Obviously Bush is not up for another political fight.
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Old 10-03-2005, 06:51 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by BonoVoxSupastar
Maybe he's actually trying to be the uniter he's always claimed to be.
He only succeeded in doing so in the short period of time after 9/11/01. After his decision to wipe Saddam and his corrupt Ba'ath Party hacks out of power, the left became ornery and uncooperative. He sucked up to them then, and he sucked up to them today. Schumer - on one hand - refers to the Bush Administration as a bunch of extremists that represent a small minority of the American population. He whined that Roberts wasn't "moderate" enough because he's (from what I can tell) a little bit right of center. Hillary whined about "women's rights" (of course she's too much of a pansy to call abortion what it is). But on the other hand, Schumer was appeased by this pick, and keep in mind, this is a man who opposed the requirement of a valid ID for registered voters, which is nothing short of supporting voter fraud if you ask me.
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Old 10-03-2005, 06:53 PM   #13
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Originally posted by Bluer White
She hasn't practiced or taught constitutional law. Hasn't been a judge. Not much of a record, period. But hey, Schumer and Reid don't seem upset. And she did contribute to Lloyd Bentson and Al Gore's campaigns.
Every one of these points is worrysome.
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Old 10-03-2005, 06:57 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by nbcrusader
The ones on the right who are furious want a "shove it in your face, Roe will be overturned, conservative." The kind of nominee I think you were expecting.

Besides, you won't make the headlines if you write a well-reasoned article based on the small amount of information we know.
After all the bull that was huffed on Roberts - that went unsuccessful, Bush could've gotten away with a right-wing version of Ruth Ginsberg. Instead, he's making the same mistake his father made by picking a poster conservative who could stab us in the back like John Paul Stevens. So yes, he could've gotten away with a "shove it in your face, Roe will be overturned, conservative."
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Old 10-03-2005, 06:59 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by Macfistowannabe
After his decision to wipe Saddam and his corrupt Ba'ath Party hacks out of power, the left became ornery and uncooperative. He sucked up to them then, and he sucked up to them today.
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