The Right’s Initial Reaction To The Harriet Miers Nomination In Quotes

by John Hawkins | October 4, 2005 5:00 am

“Conservatives shouldn’t throw up their hands in despair, at least yet. They should wait until they hear from Miers as a witness before the Senate Judiciary Committee. It’s then that we’ll begin to find out if Bush was correct in his view that she’s the person to fulfill the dreams of so many conservatives and finally shove the Supreme Court to the right.” — Fred Barnes[1]

“Today President Bush nominated Harriet Miers to fill the current vacancy on the Supreme Court. I have a great deal of confidence in President Bush and his judicial selections. However, in this case, he has given us a nominee with even less of a written record than Chief Justice John Roberts. I, along with millions of other Americans, will wait until the confirmation hearings in order to have a better sense of her judicial philosophy.” — Gary Bauer[2]

“(H)er qualifications for the Supreme Court are non-existent. She is not a brilliant jurist, indeed, has never been a judge. She is not a scholar of the law. Researchers are hard-pressed to dig up an opinion. She has not had a brilliant career in politics, the academy, the corporate world or public forum. Were she not a friend of Bush, and female, she would never have even been considered.” — Pat Buchanan[3]

(Miers is) “a complete mediocrity.” — Ann Coulter[4]

“We welcome the president’s nomination of Harriet Miers to the U.S. Supreme Court. He pledged emphatically during his campaign to appoint judges who will interpret the law rather than create it. He also promised to select competent judges who will ‘not use the bench to write social policy.'(1) To this point, President Bush’s appointments to the federal bench appear to have been remarkably consistent with that stated philosophy. Based on the information known generally about Harriet Miers, and President Bush’s personal knowledge of her, we believe that she will not prove to be a lone exception.” — James Dobson[5]

“The pressures on a Supreme Court justice to shift leftward are intense. There is the negative pressure of the vicious, hostile press that legal conservatives must endure. And there are the sweet little inducements–the flattery, the invitations to conferences in Austria and Italy, the lectureships at Yale and Harvard–that come to judges who soften and crumble. Harriet Miers is a taut, nervous, anxious personality. It is hard for me to imagine that she can endure the anger and abuse–or resist the blandishments–that transformed, say, Anthony Kennedy into the judge he is today.

Nor is it safe for the president’s conservative supporters to defer to the president’s judgment and say, “Well, he must know best.” The record shows I fear that the president’s judgment has always been at its worst on personnel matters.” — David Frum[6]

“Harriet Miers isn’t a Justice Souter pick, so don’t be silly. It is a solid, B+ pick.” — Hugh Hewitt[7]

“I’m disappointed in President Bush’s selection of Harriet Miers for the U.S. Supreme Court. …I’m also concerned about the appearance — and very probably the reality — of cronyism. There are some jobs which ought not to go to someone chiefly because they are a pal of the president.” — Jack Kelly[8]

“It is very hard to avoid the conclusion that President Bush flinched from a fight on constitutional philosophy. Miers is undoubtedly a decent and competent person. But her selection will unavoidably be judged as reflecting a combination of cronyism and capitulation on the part of the president.” — William Kristol[9]

“But, in truth, we already know what’s going on here, and that the president, despite a magnificent farm team from which to choose a solid nominee, chose otherwise. Miers was chosen for two reasons and two reasons alone: 1. she’s a she; 2. she’s a long-time Bush friend. Otherwise, there’s nothing to distinguish her from thousands of other lawyers.” — Mark Levin[10]

“I’m initially disappointed in President Bush’s Harriet Miers Supreme Court nomination, but not quite ready to run out in front of the beer truck. Part of the problem with the commentating profession is that it sometimes pressures you to step out before all the facts are known.” — David Limbaugh[11]

“I just wait for the choice to be made, and it just seems to me that at the outset here that this is a pick that was made from weakness. There was an opportunity here to show strength and confidence, and I don’t think this is it. There are plenty of known quantities out there who would be superb for the court. This is a nominee that we don’t know anything about, a nominee purposely chosen in one context, we don’t know anything about her. It makes her less of a target but it also does not show a position of strength.” — Rush Limbaugh[12]

“President Bush struck a blow for diversity on the Supreme Court by picking White House counsel Harriet Miers as his latest nominee. Bush thus made a strong statement that the court has room for highly distinguished justices and not-so-distinguished justices, for nominees who have made their reputations in the wider legal world and for nominees people have hardly heard of, for world-class lawyers and for lawyers he happens to know and like.” — Rich Lowry[13]

“It’s not just that Miers has zero judicial experience. It’s that she’s so transparently a crony/”diversity” pick while so many other vastly more qualified and impressive candidates went to waste. If this is President Bush’s bright idea to buck up his sagging popularity–among conservatives as well as the nation at large–one wonders whom he would have picked in rosier times. Shudder.” — Michelle Malkin[14]

“The reaction of many conservatives today will be that the president has made possibly the most unqualified choice since Abe Fortas, who had been the president’s lawyer. The nomination of a nominee with no judicial record is a significant failure for the advisers that the White House gathered around it.” — Manuel Miranda[15]

“Being a Bush loyalist and friend is not a qualification for the Supreme Court. She may have been the best pick from within Bush’s inner circle. It seems impossible to maintain that she was the best pick from any larger field. It seems highly unlikely that she will be the kind of justice who, in combination with Roberts, Scalia, and Thomas, will attract additional votes by the sheer force of her arguments. This nomination was a missed opportunity.” — National Review[16]

“This appears to be the future of judicial nominees named by conservative Republican presidents. We can’t have a debate about critical legal and moral issues, because a nominee clearly on the conservative side might not be confirmed. There will be no more Robert Borks to “Bork.” So we get people with little, or no, “paper trails” and must accept them on faith.

Conservatives would like to trust the president, but they haven’t come this far to live by faith in him alone. They want verification and they should have it before pledging their allegiance to the confirmation of Harriet Miers.” — Cal Thomas[17]

“Is the President sending a message that these distinguished conservatives are too controversial to be nominated for the High Court, even with a Senate containing 55 Republicans? The lesson this nomination in particular will send to younger lawyers is to keep your opinions to yourself, don’t join the Federalist Society, and, heaven forbid, never write an op-ed piece. This isn’t healthy in a democracy, and in this sense a Supreme Court fight over legal philosophy that ended in a conservative victory would have demonstrated to the left that Borking no longer works.

We will no doubt learn more about Ms. Miers in the coming weeks, and perhaps any doubts will prove groundless. But for now, Mr. Bush is asking his supporters to accept his judgment about his personal lawyer as an act of faith.” — The Wall Street Journal[18]

  1. Fred Barnes:
  2. Gary Bauer:
  3. Pat Buchanan:
  4. Ann Coulter:
  5. James Dobson:
  6. David Frum:
  7. Hugh Hewitt:
  8. Jack Kelly:
  9. William Kristol:
  10. Mark Levin:
  11. David Limbaugh:
  12. Rush Limbaugh:
  13. Rich Lowry:
  14. Michelle Malkin:
  15. Manuel Miranda:
  16. National Review:
  17. Cal Thomas:
  18. The Wall Street Journal:

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