Monday, October 03, 2005

The role of
the legislative branch

Your blogstress does not recall having ever heard a more political acceptance speech for a Supreme Court nominee than we heard today from politician Harriet Miers.

Her comment regarding her "appreciation for the role of the legislative branch" was hardly a subtle signal to the president's right flank that she's on the same page with the Justice Sunday crowd, who would like to get the Supreme Court out of the constitutional interpretation business once and for all.

Here's the money question for Harriet Miers in her confirmation hearing: Do you believe that Marbury v. Madison--the landmark 19th-century case that determined the court's obligation to interpret the Constitution--was correctly decided?

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Political hack chosen
for Supreme Court

As an occasional propagandist, your blogstress wincingly questions the president's choice of White House Counsel Harriet Miers for the Supreme Court. (Your Webwench, however, has not been named to the Supreme Court, despite her womanly wisdom. Alas, no bustier will lurk under the High Court's black robes--at least as far as we know--right, Nino?). With no judicial experience to recommend her, journos and pontificators have only Ms. Miers's political record to regard in assessing her qualifications for the high court, and it bodes not well so far--unless one is comfortable with a spin doctor on the Big Bench.

Here's Miers in an online discussion on WhiteHouse.gov, almost a year ago, back when Miers was President Bush's Deputy Chief of Staff for Domestic Policy:

James, from Mountain View, CA writes:
Are we better off now than we were four years ago?

Harriet Miers:
Thanks, James, this is a very good question, and I am pleased to give you my views. What we did not know fully in January of 2001 turns out to be very important in answering your question. In January of 2001, there were problems facing the Nation that we did not fully perceive. First, as 2001 progressed we saw the stock market continue a decline that had begun in the middle of 2000 before the Bush Administration took office. We also witnessed an economy slipping further into a recession as 2001 unfolded. We also learned as time passed that corporate misbehavior in the nineties resulted in the eruption of scandals that shook the foundation of trust that we had in the strength and integrity of our economy.

And we all know that on September 11, 2001, we learned that there had been gathering dangers for the United States that would materialize in terrorist attacks that would kill innocent Americans as well as people from countries around the world and dramatically impact the economy, including tremendous loss of jobs and shock to our airlines industry.

In response to the economic problems, the President acted immediately to implement tax relief to get the economy going again. He signed into law corporate governance reforms to address the wrongdoing that had been occurring, and those reforms were the most far-reaching since President Franklin Roosevelt’ s time. The President’s optimism and faith in the American people and our economy helped inspire a remarkable recovery. Just today, we saw new statistics showing that our economy continues to grow solidly and compensation for our workers continues steady growth. Working families now keep more of their paychecks, and we are growing faster than any other among major industrialized nations.

The President responded swiftly to the attacks on September 11th. He has our country on the offensive against terrorism. American is waging a global war on terrorism with the help of many friends and allies from around the globe. The President believed it important to confront regimes that harbored or supported terrorists as well as the terrorists. And he is also confronting outlaw regimes that pursue weapons of mass destruction, and he is committed to ensuring that the terrorists do not obtain the world’s most dangerous weapons. At the same time, the President led in the creation of the Homeland Security Department and strengthening our defenses here at home. Although I am sure the President would be the first to say more needs to be done, we are a safer Nation today than we were four years ago.

Additionally, with victories in Afghanistan and in the toppling of Saddam Hussein in Iraq and other efforts around the world, we are promoting freedom and democracy in the greater Middle East as well as elsewhere. Sowing the seeds of freedom around the world brings the goal of peace for all nations ever closer. All these efforts require great resolve and sacrifice, but we are making our Nation safer and we will leave a better world for our children and grandchildren. The last four years have been in many ways difficult years, but we have accomplished a lot and as the President has said: "because we have made the hard journey, we can see the valley below. Now, because we have faced challenges with resolve, we have historic goals within our reach, and greatness in our future. We will build a safer world and a more hopeful America -- and nothing will hold us back."

So, James, as you can tell, I think we are much better off than we were four years ago. And that belief is without discussing many, many other areas where I believe great progress has been made also. For example, with the President’s effort in education and the implementation of No Child Left Behind we are seeing much needed improvement in our schools. The President and Mrs. Bush believe in the power of quality education. That is why immediately upon taking office, the President introduced a bill to improve our education system. I could go on and on, but it is time to take another question.


Check in later with your cybertrix for more on Harriet Miers.

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