Thursday, October 13, 2005

Miers, Cronyism, Conservatives

In a recent post I made my case as to why I'm opposed to Harriet Miers as a Supreme Court judge based mainly on cronyism, but also seperation of powers. I still stand by that as a conviction.

On the wave of conservatives (Bill Krystol for instance) now using this argument, I see something less than conviction on their part. I see that they want some type of excuse because they would rather stay away from other points they would rather bring up, such as her lack of a record.

I opposed John Roberts as well because of cronyism. Roberts for instance was involved in helping with legal advice down in Florida back in 2000 to help George Bush win that election. He was also a White House lawyer in the Reagan Administration.

I will state again that White House lawyers being elevated to the Supreme Court smells too much of preference for White House power over the other branches of government, whether Congressional, judicial, or state. Also, I feel that ex-White House lawyers may have favoritism toward those they worked for in cases that may come before the Supreme Court with no law requiring them to recuse themselves. I shudder to think if George Bush were to end up facing a Supreme Court with Roberts, Antonio Scalia (friend of Dick Cheney) and now perhaps Meirs (who from her words sounds absolutely in love with Bush) how likely true neutral judgement can be found.

Back to conservative opposition to Miers. Even Laura Bush suggested that opposition to Miers may be a form of sexism. I've also heard the word elitism bandied about, where the fact that Miers didn't attend an exclusive/prestigeous university bothers elite conservatives. The conservatives have been dancing around these types of oppositions, not wanting to appear sexist or elitist, so instead they use cronyism as their excuse.

With all the cronyism surrounding the Bush Administration these days and not a peep from conservatives about any of it, now using cronyism as their reason for opposition certainly seems less than genuine. More to the point it sounds like hypocrisy.

As to Miers I admire her past, working her way up in the American male dominated legal system that had a very protective glass ceiling. I certainly cannot oppose her for that.

My other concern is religious bias. Bush has been treading a fine line about Miers religious conviction, not wanting to actually say that she opposes abortion on religious grounds, but wanting to signal to his religious base by explaining that Miers is an evangelical. Despite this effort many conservatives are still opposing Miers.

I understand that finding people without some sort of personal religious bias is darn near impossible, but I do want judges to uphold the Constitution on this. Freedom of religion is important, which is why no specific religion should be dominant in our laws. I certainly do not want a Supreme Court judge using personal religious teachings as a basis for rulings. If that becomes common we might as well give up our democracy because we won't really have it anymore anyway. That's what Europe of the 18th century was and why so many left there to come to America, freedom of religion. Theocracies are repressive, I don't want that in America.


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