Appointment of Miers stirs controversy

By Staff Writer
October 21, 2005

KRT

President Bush’s second nomination to the Supreme Court, Harriet Miers, is ironically stirring up a storm among conservative Republicans but mild support among Democrats, according to the head of the history and political science department at Cabrini.

Dr. James Hedtke, a professor of history and political science at Cabrini, is intrigued by the nomination because Miers was relatively unknown to the general public and does not come from what has become known as the traditional mode of justices over the last 30 years. This means that she lacks judicial experience. Also, Miers did not go to an Ivy League institution. Instead, she attended Southern Methodist University School of Law.

In terms of politics, Hedtke thinks she is a good choice because she did not offend the Democrats who have been criticizing Bush for his choices on the nominations. Hedtke relayed that Bush has gotten much criticism from conservative Republicans who think she may not be conservative enough which will hurt Bush politically. Hedtke also thinks that Miers would probably get a majority of the Democrats support at this point because she hasn’t proven to be a die hard conservative. Conservatives wanted Bush to change the Supreme Court, but they do not see that happening with Miers.

Hedtke said, “Miers is a relatively blank slate, she does not have a long paper trail behind her, which scares people but she doesn’t bring any visible baggage to the court which is good to me.” Hedtke thinks that we need a different way of looking at things by not having similar justices with the uniform views. Hedtke also said he thinks, “the nation will only find out if she is a good fit after she takes office because it’s a strenuous job.”

Hedtke stated that, “Roberts is kind of a clone of Rehnquist so conservatives didn’t gain or lose anything, but Sandra Day O’Connor has been the swing vote to the conservatives. Liberals think Miers will do the same since they cannot base it on her judicial record and the background that’s available is moderate. So they don’t see someone who will side with them on every point.”

Conservative supporters of President Bush are nevertheless in opposition to Harriet Miers because they say she holds too few credentials and isn’t a bona fide conservative. However, she is gaining the interest of businesses alike because of her business background in Texas. News analysts say Miers lacks judicial experience with hefty constitutional issues yet business supporters say she has worked 25 cases affecting businesses.

Miers has represented very high profile companies such as Disney, Microsoft, SunGuard, and Anros Thanksgiving Partners. According to NYtimes.com ,however, most of Mier’s cases were settled out of court, leaving little for public record.

A top lobbyist for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce thinks differently having said “Having two justices, Chief Justice John Roberts and Miers, who we expect to join him shortly, that’s adding two to nothing from the point of view of that kind of experience. That’s big for the business community,” according to csmonitor.com. The same lobbyist continued to state that other business groups, many for the first time in their histories, will take a higher profile role in court fights.

Even though the Chamber and other business groups have yet to formally endorse Miers, they are taking up her business credentials. Meanwhile, public interest groups, who have not yet opposed Miers, are sifting through her corporate record for what it could mean for consumer issues, according to csmonitor.com. Not since Richard Nixon tapped Lewis Powell in 1971, who like Miers had not been a judge prior to his nomination, has a president picked nominees with as much corporate experience as Chief Justice Roberts and more recently, Miers, according to csmonitor.com.

However, according to Johnathan Glater of The New York Times, ” In all of Ms. Miers’ cases on soured contracts and other corporate matters, there are scarcely even hints of what her thoughts on such issues might be.”

Loquitur welcomes your comments on this story. Please send your comments to: Loquitur@yahoogroups.com. The editors will review your points each week and corrections if warranted.

Posted to the web by Shane Evans

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