A Lady's Ruminations

"Jane was firm where she felt herself to be right." -Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice

Thursday, October 06, 2005

The Great One on the Miers Controversy

Mark Levin: McCain’s Blunder---

I am hearing two primary arguments for Harriet Miers by those who are close to the president:

1. The president knows her, believes she is the best candidate, and we should trust him because his past judicial picks have been excellent; and

2. There are not enough Republican votes in the Senate to win an ideological fight over a nominee like Michael Luttig, Edith Jones, or Janice Rogers Brown.

I and others have already addressed the first point at some length over the last several days. As I wrote Monday morning in Benchmemos:

The president and his advisors missed a truly historic opportunity to communicate with the American people about their government, the role of all three branches of the federal system, and the proper function of the judiciary. More importantly, they have failed to help the nation return to the equipoise of our constitutional system. And the current justices whose arrogance knows no bounds will be emboldened by this selection. They will see it as affirmation of their “extra-constitutionalism.” The president flinched. ...

Unfortunately, no new information has been presented to change my view.

But the second argument about the impotence of the Senate Republicans is worth some discussion, too. The fact is that this Gang of 14 moderates, led by Senator John McCain, did make it much more difficult for the president to win an ideological battle over a Supreme Court nominee. The Democrats did, in fact, send warnings that they were prepared to filibuster the second nominee. And under such circumstances, the president would have needed 60 votes to confirm his candidate, not 51.