Because most philosophies that frown on reproduction don't survive.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Another Souter?

As people wonder if Miers will be "another Souter" an article on Legal Times piece by T. R. Goldman proposes that Bush's primary reason for picking Miers was precisely to avoid that result:

There are many reasons President George W. Bush could have decided not to pick White House Counsel Harriet Miers, a Dallas commercial litigator with a limited trial background and no judicial experience, to serve on the Supreme Court.

But there is at least one compelling reason he did: the 15-year shadow cast by Justice David Souter, a nominee touted by Bush's father as a staunch conservative -- who has turned out to be anything but.

"Miers is not going to 'go Souter' on him," notes Earl Maltz of the Rutgers University School of Law-Camden, using a pet phrase conservatives have coined for a justice who breaks left after joining the Court.

President George H.W. Bush never knew Souter; he relied on his chief of staff, former New Hampshire Gov. John Sununu, to vouch for his fellow New Hampshirite's conservative credentials. Sununu's perception of Souter, whose constitutional paper trail was skimpy and who was viewed as the ultimate stealth candidate, was apparently blurry as well.

So intent is Bush on not repeating the sins of his father that he has risked accusations of both cronyism and political ineptitude in making his selection. "I've known Harriet for more than a decade," Bush explained while introducing Miers to the world, on Oct. 3. "I know her heart, I know her character," he added, about as sharp a reference to his father's choice of Souter as he could make.

He didn't stop there. The next day, in a Rose Garden press conference, Bush emphasized once again how long he'd known Miers and how their "closeness" allowed him to divine not just her character but, more important, her "strength of character," which Bush defined as "somebody who shares my philosophy today and will have that same philosophy 20 years from now."
The article goes on to describe the process of picking and vetting Souter, and interviews both Republicans and Democrats on their reactions to Souter during his hearings. The full article is well worth reading. Interestingly, a number of the Democrats interviewed say that they weren't at all surprised at how Souter turned out, that was precisely what they expected from his hearings. Other, such as Republican Senator and presidential advisor John Sununu insist that they were totally surprised.

The article doesn't clearly answer how Miers and Roberts will rule, but it's certainly an interesting view into how we were Soutered.

No comments: