Comments Posted By Mark Swanson
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I have no doubt that Miers is a solid conservative. That's not the point. Here's what I wrote on my blog, "Runalong":

Harry Reid is a genius!

He read the writing on the wall and figured out what all the conservatives already knew and most Democrats were in denial about: namely, whoever Bush nominated to the Supreme Court was going to pass the Senate. And it (probably she) was going to be a conservative. Reid could have done all the counter-productive speechifying politicians do at times like this, but he got smart. He decided, "if we have to have a conservative, let's make sure it is the weakest possible conservative."

He didn't want the prospect of white male Democrat Judiciary Committee members "grilling" Janice Rogers Brown on race, or Mitch McConnell on separation of church and state. Well aware of the principle of stare decisis he didn't want a Luttig or even an Owens writing opinions and dissents that would be studied by law students for generations. He didn't want Jones interrogating ACLU lawyers before considering a case.

He wanted someone who wouldn't be likely to influence other judges like Kennedy, who wouldn't be terribly impressive in confirmation hearings, who wouldn't write brilliant opinions and dissents that would stir up budding legal minds for years to come. He wanted someone with less heft, less persuasiveness, less lasting impact. He decided Miers was his best bet.

So he began talking up the importance of judges who don't have bench experience. He let Bush know that Miers was acceptable. He figured Bush would avoid a fight if possible and he knew Bush liked to promote people he knew well.

And it worked. Bush fell for it. Reid put Miers on the court. This is the one moment everyone will always remember him for. Sheer political brilliance. He had a lousy hand, Bush had a strong hand. Reid bluffed, Bush blinked, and the rest is history.

mark swanson

Comment Posted By Mark Swanson On 5.10.2005 @ 01:15



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