Sunday, October 30, 2005

So Long, Harriet, We Hardly Knew Ya

But that was the problem, wasn't it? No one knew enough about Miers (aside from dear George knowing her heart) to have any idea what she would do on the court. She shrouded her resignation in the principle of maintaining the rights of the executive branch, but obviously she was just trying to bow out gracefully. She was losing ground, not gaining it, even with Republican senators like John Thune (SD) and Trent Lott (MS).

Now for his real nomination, Bush is said to be considering two federal appeals court judges with the sort of qualifications that a Supreme Court justice is expected to have, namely a record that is not hidden behind the walls of the executive branch. Both are men, and this is a political win for Bush because he can put a man (perhaps less likely to change course on abortion issues) up for the job but say, "Well, I tried to nominate a woman, but the Senate didn't like her" (remember Laura Bush's ridiculous claim that sexism was the reason Miers was facing opposition). There is still an outside chance for Priscilla Owen, and that alone should be enough to win support for the other judges from Democrats. It's hard to imagine a worse candidate than Owen (I know her heart, and it is black), and with the filibuster "deal," it would be difficult for the Democrats to fight someone they already confirmed for the appellate court.

Of the two supposed candidates, Judges Samuel Alito and J. Michael Luttig, it appears that Luttig might be the better choice for Democrats, though both have conservative philisophies. Of course, Alito has name recognition by similarity to one of America's most famous judges, Lance Ito, though I doubt that will come up in confirmation hearings.

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