Breaking News: President Bush has reluctantly accepted SCOTUS Associate Justice Nominee Harriet Meirs request to withdraw her name from consideration for the position presently occupied by Justice Sandra Day O'Conner. Miss Meirs has been pressured to withdraw by growing opposition in the Republican party's social conservitive ranks.
That is the news now here is the commentary. The Social Conservitive or Religious Fundementalist branch of the Republican party is inconsistant and has lied to America. They attacked Miss Meirs because they were unsure she would support the overturning of Roe v. Wade. They set up a litmus test which of course they tried to hide by attacking Meirs "credentials". Miss Miers was and is qualified to be a SCOTUS Justice. Her lack of Ivy league education and her failure to have served as a judge in her previous life do not disqualify her. In fact on this bench those "failings" were the best reason to confirm her. The Supreme court is in dire need of someone who has not been indoctrinated by the minds in the Ivy league. There is a definite different mind set in those schools that do not represent the mindset of the average American. Moreover it seems that the shortest time span known to man is the time that it takes before a judge forgets he was ever a lawyer. Because judges are really kept away from socializing with lawyers the longer they are on the bench the more out of touch they are with what is happening in the practice of law.
Meirs would not have been my choice for the O'Conner seat, however to see her destroyed by the right for the alleged reasons they gave is sad. IF the Republican party continues to allow the Religious Right to control its decision making, it is surely going to become a dinosour party sooner than it needs to be.
America is more open to conservitive and libertarian thinking now than any time in the last 20 years. It is not however willing to accept the tail of the party to wag the dog. It is not accepting their form of government here that they do not accept in other countries. Moreover it is not going to accept lies. Admit now that it is all about Roe v. Wade and get it done with. As for the rest of us, it is about getting the US Constitution right. It is not finding interpretations that do not exsist. It is not about making decisions that are popular (like a legislator) and it is not about following your heart. It is about interpreting a 225 year old document that was meant to establish a new nation but whose principals embody enduring truths that work centuries later, in situations that the original drafters never even dreamed of.
Now they have put the President in an impossible postition. If he nominates someone who is qualified but not definitively Pro life he chances they will attack that nominee again. And if he seeks a candidate who clearly passes the litmus test he chances that he will alienate the public by appearing to have caved to the right. This will cost him and his party for years to come. Finally if he nominates a stealth candidate he chances a compromising his legacy by being remembered by a judge who was not who who the President thought he or she was.
Like I said Harriet Meirs wasn't my choice. I would have loved to have seen her go through the confirmation process and see what she had to say. I am sure it would have been different, may have even been better, than what we have heard from SCOTUS nominees in the recent past.
Finally a word to the President. Get your head out of the Beltway. Want some qualified candidates? Try Reena Raggi from the 2nd Circuit and Johanna Seybert from the EDNY.