October 21, 2005

Reid Praises Miers!

Of course most of us know by now that Harry Reid supported the nomination of Harriet Miers. Reid is an outspoken Democrat and that should be enough to assuage the liberals in this nation. What does it mean for conservatives? Well, the fact that we know nothing about Ms. Miers's judicial philosophy and the fact that she is being praised by Democratic senators should probably be enough to stir us up into a tirade and it has. I still have mixed feelings about her nomination. I've swung back and forth on the issue since Dobson issued his statements last week. In a Washington Times article this morning, it was reported that Miers would stop her meeting with Senators today so that she can prepare herself for the confirmation hearings.

Miss Miers will spend the next two weeks cramming for her Supreme Court confirmation hearings, Republican Senate staffers working on the nomination told The Washington Times yesterday.
Cramming for her hearings? Are you kidding me? This isn't some undergraduate biology test you can cram on the night before. This is Constitutional law. A SCOTUS nominee should be ready at the drop of a dime (as my friend Eric pointed out yesterday) to at least discuss the basics of Constitutional law. There should be very little in regards to the Constitution that she should have to "brush up on" as a SCOTUS nominee. While I do think that Miers has noble intentions I think she should set her own ego aside for a moment and do what is right for this nation-withdraw her nomination.

Posted by everyman at October 21, 2005 08:50 AM | TrackBack

Hello again friend! I hope the traffic gathering is going well!

I wanted to shoot a question your way that I've been aiming at Conservatives for weeks now. It's not a rude question but it is blunt.

Truly, Republicans have been raging for decades about "activist judges" and have been calling for "Constructionist" judges to replace them. Fair enough. I'm not certain that Clarence Thomas or William Rehnquist are (and were) completely bare of activism related to their Conservative ideology, but they are (were) close.

In any case, the question I have is this: Do you want a Conservative, ideological justice to replace Sandra Day O'Connor or do you want a purely Constructionist justice? I will appreciate your response! CHEERS!

Posted by: Joseph (OK Liberal) at October 21, 2005 11:06 AM

A very interesting post. I agree that as a nominee should not have to cram for her hearings. If anything the wording used was just wrong. Cool site, keep it up.

Posted by: The Complimenting Commenter at October 21, 2005 01:09 PM

Joseph thanks for dropping by and commenting. I think that conservatives want a constructionist on the court. Now the thing you have to understand is that the general thought among conservative circles is that a true constructionist would essentially be a conservative. A constructionist would recognize the role of the court is not to set precedent and usurp power from the states and the legislature. Rather the role of the court "...shall be to extend to all cases in law and equity arising under the Constitution, the laws of the United States, and treaties made, or which shall be made, under their authority." (U.S. Constitution Article III Sect. 2.) The fact is that many of the liberal justices have looked at foreign law and policy to decide cases under their philosophy rather than the Constitution, thus setting precedents which are unconstitutional. The idea that the Constitution is a "living, breathing document" is ridiculous. The Constitution spells out its intent rather clearly and should be interpreted with that original intent in mind. That is what the majority of conservatives want in this country. Thanks again for dropping by and I hope I cleared things up a bit.

Commenter, thanks for taking the time to drop by! The quote could have been taken out of context but I don't think so. She doesn't have any experience in Constitutional law and her knowledge on the subject is probably rusty at best. That's certainly not reassuring considering the president promised us a justice in the mold of Scalia or Thomas, both brilliant and intellectual justices with a tremendous amount of knowledge regarding the Constitution.

Posted by: Everyman at October 21, 2005 02:48 PM

Hey Joseph, I think, to answer your question, you first have to distinguish between the various groups that are being lumped together as "conservatives". Here's a reasonable breakdown, leaving aside the very small groups, that make up the so-called conservative movement:

1. Neo-conservatives - moderately left on domestic politics, very hawkish on foreign policy.
2. Paleo-conservatives - isolationist, strongly free market, opposed to liberal society
3. Libertarian conservatives - moderate hawks on foreign policy, strongly opposed to big government, moderate on liberal society (up to the individual, in their view)

Cheney is a neo-con, Buchanan is a paleo-con and Reagan and Goldwater were libertarian conservatives, to give examples.

There are also the so-called "christian conservatives", who really are religious authoritarians (Dobson, for example). The christian conservatives want judicial activism that fits their notions of what is right just as much as the progressives on the left do. They are willing to go along with the idea of originalism because they believe that an originalist, or strict constructionist, would overturn Roe v. Wade, and that is their primary goal.

Libertarian conservatives are, generally, principled and want originalism because they believe in the rule of law, even if it means a cherished idea of theirs is unconstitutional (see some of the recent debates on the validity of Kelo within the libertarian/conservative community). If that were the case, they would advocate amending the constitution, not judicial activism.

Paleo-conservatives are fairly close on this as well.

Neo-cons want judicial activists as well. They really don't want their cherished big government undone by originalist justices, which it would be.

Posted by: Eric at October 21, 2005 08:03 PM

Brilliant analysis, Eric! Thanks for stopping by and commenting. I'd say you're dead on with everything there. Although my moral politics test would say differently, I consider myself and my attitudes to fall closer in line to that of the paleo-conservatives. I also happen to be a Christian but I think the biggest failing in the Christian community regarding the judiciary has been its focus on Roe. I'd certainly like to see it overturned myself as I see it as a gross misinterpretation of the Constitution but, unlike the majority of the Christian conservatives, I realize that overturning Roe is merely one of a myriad of issues in this nation which require the firm jurisprudence of a group of constructionists.

Posted by: Everyman at October 21, 2005 08:12 PM

Good analysis Eric and thanks for the response also Everyman!

I've been very curious about what Conservatives think, want and would like to see in a Justice. I know that Conservatives of all ilks have been upset at Liberal Justices over the years and I can agree to a point. I understand that using foreign law as a basis for domestic law is... odd not to mention uncalled for. I think the main area I disagree with Conservatives on is mainly the "living, breathing" Constitution issue. I believe that while it should be very hard to change or amend the Constitution, the very fact that the document CAN and DOES evolve over time as circumstances evolve suggests that it IS living and breathing. Change isn't necessarily bad but it should be closely monitored and very carefully carried out. That is why I don't totally support Roe vs. Wade. I believe in abortion for rape victims and medical emergencies but I do not believe in frivolous abortion. I think the case should be overturned and each state should be allowed to rule on abortion individually. Hopefully they would pass laws like I suggested but if not, that IS their decision. That is how I believe law should be made and decided in most cases.

As you all can see, I'm not a strict Liberal but I'm far from a Conservative. I am what I am. Thanks for the responses all!

Posted by: Joseph (OK Liberal) at October 21, 2005 08:50 PM
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