The Spectacle Blog

Walk on the Bright Side

By on 10.3.05 | 4:14PM

Temperamental contrarian that I am, I'm trying hard to find something nice to say about the Harriet Miers nomination. It isn't easy! But here's my first stab:

1. She's not that unqualified, when compared to other non-judge Supreme Court nominees. Compare her resume to those of Pierce Butler or Lewis Powell, for example.

2. She's a member of an evangelical church, and she advocated changing the ABA's official stance on abortion (they're for it). You don't have to be pro-life to be anti-Roe, but it's very unusual to find pro-lifers who are pro-Roe. (It is theoretically possible, I suppose, for a person to think that abortion should be illegal but that Roe was correctly decided, or at least sacrosanct on stare decisis grounds. This hypothetical person, who would presumably be a vocal proponent of a Human Life Amendment, is not someone I've ever met.)

The big problem is that there are important issues apart from just abortion to worry about in contemporary jurisprudence -- and someone like Miers, who hasn't worked on constitutional law much, probably hasn't thought much about those issues. So I'm not completely sanguine, but I'm trying.

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