Should that change anyone’s mind? No, not one iota. Wondering why? Well, let me tell you a little story about a name that strikes terror into the heart of conservatives who care deeply about the Supreme Court: David Souter.
Souter was a stealth nominee, nominated by George Bush’s father. There were some initial grumbles about his nomination, but Republicans came out of the woodwork to assure the base that David Souter would be fine and that they should trust the President. Sound familiar? It should, because in essence, conservatives were given the exact same snow job back then that they’re being given today. Here’s a little background on the man that many conservatives, myself included, fear that Harriet Miers will emulate when she gets on the bench:
“As New Hampshire attorney general in 1977, Souter opposed the repeal of an 1848 state law that made abortion a crime even though Roe v. Wade had made it irrelevant, predicting that if the law were repealed, New Hampshire “would become the abortion mill of the United States.”
At this point the only people more opposed to abortion than Souter were still in vitro.
He filed a brief arguing that the state should not have to pay for poor women to have abortions – or, as the brief called it, “the killing of unborn children” and the “destruction of fetuses.”
Also as state attorney general, Souter defended the governor’s practice of lowering the flag to half-staff on Good Friday, arguing that “lowering of the flag to commemorate the death of Christ no more establishes a religious position on the part of the state or promotes a religion than the lowering of the flag for the death of Hubert Humphrey promotes the cause of the Democratic Party in New Hampshire.”
Wait, seriously – who is that guy on the Supreme Court and what has he done with the real David Souter?
Souter vowed in a newspaper interview to “do everything we can to uphold the law” allowing public school children to recite the Lord’s Prayer every day.
As a justice on the New Hampshire Supreme Court, Souter dismissively referred to abortion as something “necessarily permitted under Roe v. Wade” – not exactly the “fundamental right” he seems to think it is now.
In a private speech – not a brief on behalf of a client – Souter attacked affirmative action, calling it “affirmative discrimination.”
Souter openly proclaimed his support for the “original intent” in interpreting the Constitution.”
Note that Souter, who was also a stealth nominee, had a CONSIDERABLY more reassuring resume than Harriet Miers does. However, what Souter — and for that matter Sandra Day O’Connor and Andrew Kennedy — did not have, was a long track record on the bench that showed an originalist bent. Harriet Miers, who has never been a judge, also lacks that record.
You heard that old saying, “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me?” Well, conservatives know that they have already been fooled three times with the exact same pitch. So, how gullible do we have to be to fall for it a fourth time (and maybe a 5th if Roberts turns out to be less conservative than expected)?
Keep in mind, folks, even if you don’t think having a track record as an originalist is important, Miers is pro-Affirmative Action, helped set up a feminist lecture series, was a Democrat less than 20 years ago, and gave money to her company’s PAC in 1999, even though she knew that PAC gave money to Democrats like Hillary Clinton. Harriet Miers may be a lot of things, but she doesn’t seem to be a conservative.
Furthermore, it’s great that Miers is — today — a pro-life, Christian, Republican, but that shouldn’t allay anyone’s fears. Harry Reid is pro-life. Jesse Jackson is a Christian. Lincoln Chafee is a Republican. Would you want any of them on the Supreme Court?
Folks, this nomination may turn out to be the most important domestic decision of Bush’s Presidency and because of the power of the Supreme Court, the lives of every American will be affected by the judge who fills Sandra Day O’Connor’s slot on the SCOTUS. This is a nomination that may have an impact on freedom of speech, freedom of religion, Affirmative Action, Kelo, Roe v. Wade, privacy, the war on terror, and on and on and on. That’s why this is not the time to just roll over and allow a squishy, 4th rate crony like Harriet Miers to get a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court.
We’re playing for enormous stakes here and that’s why conservatives should fight tooth and nail, with everything they have in the political arsenal, to stop Harriet Miers from being confirmed to the Supreme Court.