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The Miers Disaster

In our New Oxford Notes (Sept., pp. 15-16, 18; Oct., pp. 12-13; Nov., pp. 9-10), we told you that President Bush’s choice for Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, John Roberts, would not vote to overturn Roe v. Wade (which legalized abortion in the U.S.).

On October 3, Bush nominated Harriet Miers, a member of the White House inner circle, to fill the seat of Sandra Day O’Connor on the Supreme Court. Curiously, many Democrats were praising her while many conservatives were silent or were criticizing her. You see, the Democrats care most about Roe, and they sensed a pro-Roe vote with Ms. Miers.

Everyone seemed to agree that Ms. Miers is not an “ideologue” or an “extremist” — code words for a prolifer. When Miers was in Texas, she was known to be a leader of the moderate Republican legal establishment. An Editorial in The New York Times (Oct. 4) said: “There is no evidence as yet that she is an ideological warrior…. Ms. Miers’ résumé gives at least some reason to hope that she could be a moderate, pragmatic judge in the mold of Justice Sandra Day O’Connor [who upheld Roe]…. She [Miers] has spent much of her career in corporate law firms…that encourage pragmatism over ideology.” And according to Karl Keating’s e-Letter (Oct. 4): “Quite possibly the successor to Sandra Day O’Connor [Miers] will prove to be another Sandra Day O’Connor.”

Pat Buchanan said (Human Events Online, Oct. 3): “In selecting her, Bush capitulated to the diversity-mongers, used a critical Supreme Court seat to reward a crony, and revealed that he lacks the desire to engage the Senate in fierce combat to carry out his now-suspect commitment to remake the court in the image of [Justices Antonin] Scalia and [Clarence] Thomas.”

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