“If Harriet Miers were not a crony of the president of the United States, her nomination to the Supreme Court would be a joke, as it would have occurred to no one else to nominate her.”
Further down in his devastating column today, Charles Krauthammer echoes John Wohlstetter’s points yesterday on our site in “The Recusal Trap.”
“For four years Miers has been immersed in war-and-peace decisions and therefore will have a deep familiarity with the tough constitutional issues regarding detention, prisoner treatment and war powers,” Krauthammer writes. “…For years — crucial years in the war on terrorism — she will have to recuse herself from judging the constitutionality of these decisions because she will have been a party to having made them in the first place. The Supreme Court will be left with an absent chair on precisely the laws-of-war issues to which she is supposed to bring so much.”
Meanwhile, speaking of cronyism a name making the rounds last night at National Review‘s dinner was that of Lyndon Johnson’s old buddy Abe Fortas. Interestingly, though, as David Greenberg writes in Slate, Fortas went down not when he was first nominated to the Court, but three years later when LBJ tried to elevate him to Chief Justice. And it was a Republican-led filibuster put an end to that. Plus charges of financial impropriety were raised against him — which, when amplified the following year, forced Fortas to resign from the Court altogether. Lucky for everyone that GWB is not LBJ and Harriet Miers is clean.