White House counsel and longtime Bush confidante Harriet Miers is the newest appointee to the Supreme Court, after proving herself by many years of trusted service to President Bush and no years on the bench. It’s not surprising that the appointment came today, since it is the first Monday in October and the kickoff to a new SCOTUS season. It’s also great timing to deflect attention from the various Rebulican scandals in the news (DeLay, Frist, Libby/Rove, Abramoff; or, what ABC White House Correspondent Terry Moran called “the stench of corruption” hanging over the Republicans in a press briefing last week); recall the timing of the Roberts announcement after the Rove-Plame scandal broke.
Poor Slate; all that work on Janice Rogers and Consuela Callahan for nothing. (And the Ediths must be pissed.) But kudos to SCOTUS-watcher Emily Bazelon for calling the wild-card Miers on September 20th. Her assessment: “[M]iers isn’t a skilled Supreme Court advocate. She has no reputation outside the insular Bush circle. Firepower-wise, she looks like a big gamble.” Poor Bush, SUCH a shortage of qualified, tested, experienced women from which to choose.
Meanwhile, it looks like the NYT missed this dark horse: in a round-up of possible candidates from September 22nd, Elizabeth Bumiller wrote up a list of Hispanic and female possibilities, following up by writing that “strategists said that staff members like Harriet Miers, the White House counsel, had been in contact with several contenders, but that Mr. Bush was not thought to have begun formal interviews.” So close and yet so far.
Like Roberts, we don’t have much info on this one; the NYT profile linked on the homepage is from November 2004. We don’t know her stance on abortion or affirmative action, or anything else for that matter. I am going to go ahead and predict that the Dems rake her over the coals and don’t confirm. Half of them opposed Roberts, and he had a kickass record, obvious intellectual heft and never gave them enough of a reason to openly nix him (except for the obvious absence-of-information-doesn’t-count-as-information reason). But this is different: it’s another Bush crony appointed in a leap over the heads of more qualified candidates. Her record is non-existent, but proof of her loyalty to the Bush agenda is not (and I don’t think it will help exactly that Joseph Allbaugh vouches for her). There is no way the Dems will stand for this. Fishbowl stands by its arbitrary knee-jerk based-on-the-headlines predictions. But either way, we’re excited to see Schumer and Kennedy go apoplectic.