The nomination of Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court is the singular worst decision of the George W. Bush administration. It has split the Republican base from the President in a way that has not happened previously and reinforced the charges of cronyism on the part of his Administration. There’s simply no other way to put it – Miers is the worst possible choice.
Even if Miers were a committed conservative, she does not possess the judicial acumen necessary to be an adequate member of the Supreme Court of the United States. Given that there are many doubts about her views on Constitutional jurisprudence (such as it is), the risks inherent in nominating someone with no practical experience and no real record should have torpedoed the idea instantly.
I must agree with Alexander Hamilton in this case when he made the following argument in the Federalist #76:
To what purpose then require the co-operation of the Senate? I answer, that the necessity of their concurrence would have a powerful, though, in general, a silent operation. It would be an excellent check upon a spirit of favoritism in the President, and would tend greatly to prevent the appointment of unfit characters from State prejudice, from family connection, from personal attachment, or from a view to popularity. In addition to this, it would be an efficacious source of stability in the administration.
The Senate’s role is to “advise and consent” on judicial nominations in the fashion that Hamilton argued. The Senate should not obstruct nominees for partisan political purposes – at the same time they should not provide a rubber stamp to an unqualified nominee.
Unless Harriet Miers demonstrates an undiscovered aptitude on matters of Constitutional law, the Senate of the United States should exercise their Constitutional rights and refuse to confirm the nomination of Ms. Miers. Political concerns must take a back seat to the values of the Republic, and the relationship between Ms. Miers and the President clearly does not allow her to be a dispassionate justice, nor does she possess the kind of understanding of Constitutional law that any member of the Supreme Court should have. Her gender, educational history, or any other side issue is irrelevant. Harriet Miers is simply unfit for office.
For the good of the party, and more importantly for the good of the Republic, the Senate should end this travesty.