Beldar blog has an excellent post about the appointment of Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court. I was thinking of writing something similar, and he beat me too it, and did it better. Bottom line: The lady is very qualified for the job, and the fact that she is not from the academic world and not already a judge is a plus. We already have a lot of that type of knowledge and background. It is all to the good that we will now have someone on the Court who has had to work real lawyer’s hours, for paying clients, and make arguments to real courts and be accountable for the results, as well as running a major law firm and getting the bills paid. The kinds of considerations she will bring to the Court, as Beldar notes, will be a source of “diversity” far more valuable than the happenstance of her gender.
Also, a multi-level piece of hearsay has reached me from a person who knows a person, etc. who has worked with this lady. I offer this with all possible disclaimers. But the word is she is very, very smart and very conservative, judicially and otherwise. In other words, not another Souter. I sure hope so. And I hope she gets in.
I’ll note that this is tactically a very clever move by Team Bush. The Democrats have done years of opposition research on every possible “likely” Bush appointee and they would have been ready to launch a massive attack from the get-go. This way they are scrambling to find things to use to attack the nominee, and that means they will be less able to destroy her nomination and damage the President, since they will have less time to prepare. This appointment process is a zero-sum political struggle, and both sides are out to deal each other a major, damaging defeat. That is what this is about, despite the increasingly flimsy pretense that this about selecting someone who is “objectively” qualified. The Supreme Court has become a super-legislature, every one knows that, and the stakes are extremely high. Bush is playing to win, and he doesn’t mind winning ugly.
Update: Jim Miller weighs in with more detail about Miers, which makes me think even more that the pick is a good one. Like him, I think it is a plus that the selection of Miers “annoys law professors”. Like him, I like “boring judges who write boring opinions”. I do not want an “interesting” judge who is going to “find” European-style positive welfare rights in the Constitution, to pick just one bad idea which is afloat these days. Like him, I think this is a politically-motivated selection, and that is OK because the Supreme Court makes decisions which have huge political consequences, and the idea of some apolitical competence is a mirage.
Update II: Patrick Ruffini has even more good things to say about soon-to-be-Justice Miers.