Monday, October 24, 2005

I Support the Miers Nomination

Ever since Harriet Miers' nomination to the Supreme Court was announced, I've been sitting on the fence trying to decide whether to support the President's choice. Since N. Z. Bear has issued a call to conservative bloggers to take a stand on this issue, I figured it was time to finally make up my mind. I am supporting the Miers' nomination.

This is not a decision that I have made lightly. Early on, I wrote about reservations I had about how Ms. Miers' faith was being used as the primary criteria for supporting her nomination. I'm still troubled by prominent evangelicals such as James Dobson, Charles Colson, Pat Robertson, and others who have been mixing faith with politics especially on this issue. I do not believe it is wise for evangelicals to seek political power in and of itself. But I also do not believe that a faith test is proper, either. Just because someone professes to be an Evangelical Christian disqualifies them from public service.

There is no doubt that this nomination has not been handled properly by the White House. I have no doubt that they were not prepared for the backlash within their own party that they have received. But I don't understand how Republicans can honestly believe they can oppose this nomination and not pay a political price.

I also understand the frustration of fellow conservatives who had wished the President had nominated someone else. Many names of qualified judges were tossed around following Chief Justice Roberts' confirmation. My own personal preference was for the President to nominate Judge Janice Rogers Brown. I relished the idea of Democratic Senators trying legitimately oppose her nomination particularly when they have regularly relied on overwhelming support of African-Americans in winning elections. But the reality is that the nomination of someone like Judge Brown (or a Hispanic candidate such as Miguel Estrada or even Alberto Gonzales) would simply politicize the nomination process. It's messy enough without making a nomination simply to score political points.

I even understand the desire of some of Ms. Miers' critics to know more about her position is on certain issues, particularly abortion. But the fact is that abortion is only one issue in a broad range of issues that the Supreme Court will decide. In reality, a good judge should be evaluating cases based on the facts and the law, not their own feelings about a particular issue. I am honestly more concerned about learning more about how Ms. Miers will approach her job as an Associate Justice than her opinion on any number of high-profile decisions that have been handed down over the years by the Supreme Court.

I know in taking this stand that I am in direct opposition to many of my fellow conservatives. I honestly haven't read their opinions so I don't know how well-reasoned their opposition to Ms. Miers might be. They may simply be opposing her nomination for any or all of the reasons I've outlined above.

My support for Ms. Miers does not have anything to do with Hugh Hewitt's or any other blogger's support for the nomination. However, this post from Hugh is probably one of the best written arguments I've read thus far in support of her nomination.

My support for Ms. Miers is also not a cheap ploy for more traffic even though I've noticed from the traffic reports that lots of visitors to this blog of late have been searching for a post on Ms. Miers.

Why, then, would I go out on a limb and support Ms. Miers? It comes down to this: I trust the President when it comes to judicial nominees. It is the one area where he has consistently proven himself capable of making wise choices. Since I don't know Ms. Miers personally or anything about her judicial philosophy or personal convictions I have no choice but to decide whether to trust the person nominating her.

This President has made tough choices before. He's not afraid to make unpopular or politically risky decisions (e.g. stem cell research, Iraq, Social Security reform to name a few). A lesser man would have folded like a cheap tent in the face of the vicious political rhetoric this President has had to face on a daily basis. Even when I disagree with President Bush on certain issues (illegal immigration, runaway federal spending) I still admire his willingness to stick to his guns. A man willing to take such risks does not rush into decisions. I have no doubt that he has thought through (and I would even venture to guess carefully prayed through) the issue before taking a stand. A man willing to display such leadership is worthy of my unwavering support.

If Ms. Miers' nomination is defeated, it will not be because the President made a bad choice. It will not even be because the White House did not properly manage the nomination process. It will be because Republican Senators did not follow their leader as they should have. And if that leads to political defeat in 2006, 2008, or beyond then the Republican Party will get exactly what they deserve for not following their leader.

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