Dispatches from the Creation Wars

More Thoughts on Miers

Two of my favorite thinkers weigh in on the Miers nomination. So sayeth Radley Balko:

On Monday, the Washington Post ran excerpts of a 1992 article Harriet Miers wrote for Texas Lawyer. I’ve read the thing several times, now. I haven’t the foggiest idea what it’s actually about. Or advocating. Or why it was written. It’s like she took a couple of New Republic articles, a couple of Legal Times articles, pulled an AP wire story off of Lexis, tossed them in a food processor, then poured the concotion into a new-like article. Like the quotes excerpted by David Brooks a couple of weeks ago, Miers’ prose is fluffy and verbose, but absent the slightest kernal of substance. It’s the intellectual equivalent of an enormous bowl of meringue. It reeks of a dumb person writing to impress smart people.

Here’s a challenge: Imagine you’ve been assigned the task of writing an essay in opposition to the Miers essay (I’ve pasted it after the break). Could you do it? What exactly is her position?

Follow the link to see the actual essay. There you’ll find such brilliantly empty prose as, “We can and should take reasonable steps to minimize the likelihood of similar tragedies occurring in the future.” Well yes, Harriet, we should. And we should also come out boldly in favor of good things and against bad things.

And so sayeth Virginia Postrel:

For whatever reason, the president has picked a woman who not only has no constitutional or judicial experience but even in her business practice has demonstrated no interest in the law as anything other than a source of billable hours. At 60 years old, she appears never to have had a substantive conversation about law or policy with any friend. She comes from a closed and cronyish legal and business culture and appears to have gotten ahead through a combination of networking, nose-to-the-grindstone diligence, and willingness to do her law firm’s management, rather than legal, work.

Her selection is an insult to women, to evangelical Christians, and to corporate lawyers. Is this really the best these groups have to offer to U.S. Supreme Court?

Unlike some social conservatives, my concerns are not results-oriented. As a matter of policy, I am perfectly happy to have abortion legal, with some restrictions, and actively support gay marriage. If there were any evidence (other than my friend Hugh Hewitt’s imaginings) that Harriet Miers shared Richard Epstein’s views on affirmative action, I’d give her a pass on that. (Now there’ a line of questioning for the Judiciary Committee: Would you agree with Richard Epstein on affirmative action? Does she even know who he is or what he says?)

Well said on both parts, as one would expect.


  1. #1 KeithB
    October 26, 2005

    What the heck is (or is a) “freedom of liberties”?

  2. #2 KeithB
    October 26, 2005

    And, as near as I can figure she seems to say that we should be allowed to pack heat in the courtroom.

  3. #3 Ginger Yellow
    October 27, 2005

    To be honest, those new quotes aren’t as bad as I was expecting, particularly given that there’s no context. The ones that Brooks quoted were horrendous though.

  4. #4 Dave S.
    October 27, 2005

    Meirs is gone, as expected.

  5. #5 Dave S.
    October 27, 2005

    The above link is broken, but she is gone.

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