For Nattering Nabob of Negativism, and Sunday Second Banana to George Stephanopoulis, George Will for:
It is not important that [Harriet Miers] be confirmed because there is no evidence that she is among the leading lights of American jurisprudence, or that she possesses talents commensurate with the Supreme Court's tasks. The president's ``argument'' for her amounts to: Trust me. There is no reason to, for several reasons.
He has neither the inclination nor the ability to make sophisticated judgments about competing approaches to construing the Constitution. Few presidents acquire such abilities in the course of their prepresidential careers, and this president, particularly, is not disposed to such reflections.
The FLUBA Committee on Inside the Beltway Commentators Who've Had Too Many Conversations With Each Other and Had Make-up Applied Too Often notes that the standard of being, among the leading lights of American jurisprudence, is not only nowhere found in the Constitution, but is also a meaningless platitude.
Would Clarence Thomas have been said to have been one when he was nominated? Or any of the others currently sitting on the Court--including current pinch hitter Sandra Day O'Connor, then of the Arizona State Court of Appeals?
Byron--Whizzer--White was best known for his college football exploits when John Kennedy named him to the Supreme Court, and he turned out to be one of the few voices of reason on the Warren Court (speaking of another non-leading legal light). Robert Jackson didn't even have a law degree but managed to muddle through after FDR appointed him from his Attorney General post in 1941.
And Will might ponder the implications of his argument that few presidents are qualified to select Supreme Court Justices, when it is the Constitution itself that gives the elected Executive just that authority, not to unelected, accountable to no one except the Nielsen Ratings, TV personalities.