ARC's 1st Law: As a "progressive" online discussion grows longer, the probability of a nefarious reference to Karl Rove approaches one

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Missing the Point

Seriously... everyone's missing the point here. This post from NRO's Corner is just a sample.

ON CRITICS [Mark R. Levin]

In defense of Ramesh and critical conservatives generally, there's an argument now being thrown around that those of us who question Miers's judicial philosophy -- i.e., who are actually searching for one, are reflexive, or some such nonsense. Of course, this suggests that those who are defending her are not reflexive, but well-informed and thoughtful. Well, some of us reflexive types have been searching without success for Miers's philosophy. You see, the president's not up for confirmation. His judicial philosophy may or may not be shared by Miers. It's incumbent on her proponents to provide some justification for their position unless, of course, they're reflexively results-oriented. Moreover, anyone who reads this website and concludes that we speak as one is way off base. There are times when many of us concur, like now, but there are often strong and serious disputes. Other websites and blogs would do well to copy this approach.

Posted at 02:30 PM

it doesn't matter what we believe, Mr. Levin.. it's what the president knows and what the Senate finds out about her judicial philosophy. I have a feeling that Bush knows her judicial philosophy pretty well, and her political philosophy even better.

Here's how this process works:
  1. We elect the President.
  2. He nominates.
  3. Senate Confirms.
Our influence on this decision is primarily in Step 1. Unless you find EVIDENCE pointing to the fact that Miers is unqualified or does not agree with the judicial philosophy that Bush promised all Supreme Court nominees would have, you should just keep your powder dry. Once we have EVIDENCE, then we can begin trying to kill this nominee. All we have now is pure speculation on both sides. Thus, the best bet is that Bush knows what he's doing.

I know I'm not a Washington insider and all, but I seriously doubt that Bush is kowtowing to the Left. I don't know about you, but I haven't met many evangelical Southern Baptists that were to my Left. Heck, she might be too conservative for ME!

And it does seem that some of the opposition to Miers is rooted in some elitism that is normally uncommon for the GOP. It seems that when you're grasping at straws, almost anything will do. Well, Beldar refutes their snobbery quite well:
Writing yesterday on NRO's The Corner blog in a short post entitled "Deplorable," NRO editor Rich Lowry quoted a "a very pro-Bush legal type" in part as follows:
Says Miers was with an undistinguished law firm; never practiced constitutional law; never argued any big cases; never was on law review; has never written on any of the important legal issues. Says she's not even second rate, but is third rate.

I also count myself as a "very pro-Bush legal type," but unlike Mr. Lowry's source, I'm not anonymous, and my own pedigree and credentials as a knowledgeable Texas practitioner are available for anyone to assess. If his source wants to go public, I'd be delighted to debate him on any of the points I'm about to make, because they're all based on my personal knowledge, and I'm quite confident Mr. Lowry's source must either lack that knowledge or is just being very loose with the truth.

Locke Liddell & Sapp is the product of a merger between two old and very well-regarded firms — Locke Purnell in Dallas and Liddell Sapp in Houston. It was a merger of equals, and one that Harriet Miers presided over as managing partner of Locke Purnell and co-managing partner of the merged firms. Calling the resulting firm, or either of its predecessors, "undistinguished" is absolutely outrageous and contrary to fact. It's the kind of thing that only an absolute snob — someone who takes the position that no Texas firm could ever be anything but undistinguished — would say. And like the lawyers from Locke Purnell and Liddell Sapp, I've been regularly kicking such snobs' butts in court for the last 25 years — and not just in Texas courts, either.

Do you honestly think Microsoft or Disney would hire a "third-rate" lawyer from an "undistinguished firm"? Those are a couple of her personal clients, but I can tell you from personal experience — having handled and sometimes tried cases with and against Locke Purnell's and Liddell Sapp's lawyers for 25 years — that their respective client lists, and now that of the combined firm, are as blue-chip as any law firm in Texas can claim. I'm talking the top Texas banks and businesses; major Texas newspapers; national insurance companies; hospitals and universities; multinational corporations with business or litigation in Texas — top-tier clients that any firm anywhere would be delighted to have. Those sorts of clients do indeed have big cases.

read the whole thing... He points out that Miers actually did make law review. I also see similarly snobbish comments coming from the Left. Southern Methodist University?! Why, that's not in Massachussets nor Berkley! egads!

***UPDATE***
To prove my point, the Kossacks have this post which just shows that the infighting isn't helping our cause.
And I think we may have some strange bedfellows on the issue. Yes, the Conservatives described above.

The reaction of the Wingnuts has been, of course, satisfying in a petty way. But it also has led them to a place that remarkably aligns with my own views - they want to know where Miers stands on the legal issues. They don't want a stonewall.

And neither should Democrats. Let's find out the answers. If Miers is an O'Connor, let's support her and get her confirmed. Let the Republicans try and mount an opposition. If Miers is a Scalia or Thomas, then we filibuster. If the White House stonewalls, let's get willing Dem and Republican Senators to filibuster.

I think it is a win-win-win. Let's discuss each scenario in turn.

If we can credibly believe that Miers will bring a judicial phiosophy akin to Justice O'Connor's, I recommend Dems support her. It is a fair and reasonable result. Bush is the President after all.

If we are not convinced that Miers is not a Scalia or Thomas, then we must oppose, even filibuster. Such a Justice would be out of the judicial mainstream and would be wholly unacceptable. Let me make this perfectly clear -- if we had a chance to vote on Scalia and Thomas today - then Democrats would filibuster. Any reasonable threat that Miers is like them demands vigorous opposition.

If Miers and the White House stonewall a la Roberts, then we simply can not be sure that we are not getting a Scalia/Thomas type. Indeed, the Conservatives want to be sure they have one, so it seems to me they won't stand for a stonewall either.

A bipartisan rejection of a Miers stonewall would not use any of our "powder" (for those who care about such things) and establish an important precedent -- a stonewall by a Presidential nominee, much like on Bolton, will simply not be countenanced by a Senate jealous of its institutional perogatives.

Oh by the way, it would also spell the merited demise of the nuclear option. A very good result as well.

As I've pointed out, the Right is shooting itself in the foot. I HATE agreeing with the Kossacks...

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler