Thursday, October 27, 2005

Miers Withdraws Supreme Court Nomination

Harriet Miers withdrew her nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court this morning.

NBC’s chief legal correspondent, Pete Williams, said the move was exceptional, noting that only seven of 150 nominations have been withdrawn in the history of the court.

Miers had been expected to respond today to a new set of questions from senators after her first responses were criticized by Senate Judiciary chairman Arlen Specter (R-PA), and senior Democrat Patrick Leahy of Vermont. Various members found her answers to the first questionnaire to be "inadequate," "insufficient" and "insulting."

The committee had scheduled Nov. 7 confirmation hearings for her, but Specter and Leahy said Miers’ answers to their original questions were “incomplete” and “insufficient,” one of several setbacks Miers faced over her nomination to replace retiring Justice Sandra Day O’Connor.

Miers has been criticized by some conservatives for not having a record of conservative judicial philosophy on issues like abortion and affirmative action. At the same time, some had questioned an aggressive White House strategy to win over religious right leaders.

While none of the Senate’s 55 Republicans had announced opposition to her, a number of Senators, including Sam Brownback (R-KS), Trent Lott (R-MS) and Rick Santorum (R-PA), had withheld endorsements, with Brownback suggesting he was leaning against voting for her.

Meanwhile, groups like Concerned Women of America had called for her withdrawal.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Those extremist wingnutjobs took her down.

1:19 PM  
Blogger Michael said...

Bush tried to get one past the liberals by nominating an unknown and then tried to wink and nod his way past the conservatives. As far as the Dems are conserned he succeeded, but the rabid right? Uh-uh. They bought and paid for his political soul and the hate-bots that own him will not be ignored.

So what should we expect next? A right-wing activist judge his hardcore "base" demands or a centrist and objective jurist the rest-of-us want? It's decision time. If history is any guide, we should expect something underhanded and disgraceful.

But frankly this is a no-lose for Democrats. Either he nominates an acceptable centrist or he exposes himself as a shill for the neo-cons by nominating a zealot. And the very worst thing that could ever happen to the Republican party would be if they actually did overturn Roe v. Wade. Ha! There would be a violent majority backlash and the Republicans would have nothing to offer the Red-State rednecks anymore except crippling unemployment and federal program cuts.

This ought to be entertaining.

1:44 PM  
Anonymous Anthony Patch said...

I'm starting to think the "American Dissident" isn't American. First off he spelled concerned with an S. Very odd, very Brit. Second, no American in their right mind, would think any political party, Democrat or Republican, would overturn Roe V Wade. The guy is a Fake, Phony Fraud.

2:45 PM  
Anonymous Andrew Donaldson said...

While a withdrawal is unusual (and given how few Justices we've had, 7 isn't all that small a number, either), when Roberts came up for nomination, exactly one in five nominees for the Supreme Court had been defeated. Every candidate since Bork had been confirmed; we were due for the Senate to reject someone. The largest reason for the religious conservatives to vote Republican is the prospect of overturning Roe. Their economic interests are served very poorly indeed by the Republican party. And Mr. Patch: If one or two more Republican Presidents fail to appoint consistently anti-Roe Supreme Court candidates, the Republicans face losing those voters forever.

3:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Miers was rejected because she represented "the height of croonyism" as Bush's personal lawyer with no constitutional law experience. Obvious to everyone, this problem likely rattled conservatives more so than her unknown stand on abortion.
It worked with Brown to select an incompetent but unbeknowist to our incompetent president it would not work for a high judicial post.
Another Bush failure to hoodwink even his staunchest allies in Congress.
Bush's political capital is now the equivalent of spit on the floor.

3:14 PM  
Anonymous Darius said...

Patch, you are not living in a fact based reality when you claim that the likes of Dobson, Falwell and Robertson aren't intending to outlaw abortion. They supported Miers. Hell, the only good thing Dobson could find to say about Miers' qualifications was that Rove assured him she was a member of a Texas anti-abortion group, "Texans United for Life."

In 2004 Falwell wrote, somewhat hopefully, "new Supreme Court justices can overturn Roe vs. Wade." Then, last week he lauded Miers as a "woman of great character, and a lover of Christ" after getting private reassurances from Bush.

Now do you seriously believe the religious right gave Bush millions and rallied their following to elect him for without expecting their bidding to be done? You are either ignorant or in denial.

4:48 PM  
Anonymous ash said...

Wow. I'm surprised. No Wingnuts claiming this is somehow a victory for their side. Give them time...

And I agree: to overturn Roe v. Wade would constitute political suicide. There's a difference between the idealistic envisionings of unelected religiosos (Dobson, Falwell, and conservative politicians who must face real-world consequences.

5:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You're more likely to see wingnuts say that the Miers fiasco was the fault of liberals. It's a flawed theory, of course, but some wingers have to point fingers at everyone but their own.

5:44 PM  
Blogger Michael said...

Ash and Patch, you are agreeing with me. My post makes the point that Bush can't nominate the kind of person his religoso owners expect (an anti-roe-v-wade activist judge), because there would then be an angry revolt among the normal majority.

But Republicans are famous for overreaching when they are given the chance.

Bush is trying to appease his money source (religious fanatics) while playing reasonable to the rest of America. The real-world consequence was that it didn't fly. Now it seems that whichever way he flips it ought to be good for the Left.

5:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Today Trent Lott, R-Mississippi, said Bush "should nominate a strict constructionist conservative." This has been the party line from Republicans from day one. "Constructionist" is code for "against the 1965 case of Griswold v. Connecticut" which established a right to marital privacy (which isn't explicitly written into the Constitution). It was that right which was cited as justification for the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, which argued that birth control and abortion were protected, in part, by the right to privacy. Every time you hear a prominent conservative say "constructionist" understand what they are really asking for. They want Griswold overturned and then... guess what? They have been advocating for ending Roe all along, and they still are.

6:50 PM  
Anonymous Darius said...

Bush has answered this question directly. At an Iowa news conference, candidate George W. Bush stated: "Roe v. Wade was a reach that overstepped the constitutional bounds as far as I'm concerned." You can't get any plainer than that.

7:38 PM  

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