The president reportedly left for Camp David to contemplate the next Supreme Court nomination over the weekend. To my consternation, Miers and Andy Card both went with him. (This, presumably, does not mean that Card is the next nominee).
He surely had this letter from Sens. Leahy and Reid with him. In it, after tut-tutting Miers's implosion, they come right out and say that the prez shouldn't nominate anyone conservatives might accept, especially no candidate with a Y chromosome:
"As before, we strongly urge you to refrain from nominating to the Supreme Court any of the handful of judicial nominees who were filibustered during the past four years, or any other similarly divisive candidate. Instead, we urge you to pick one of the many qualified mainstream women and minority candidates who can win widespread bipartisan support in the Senate and among the American people. We have privately offered you some thoughts in this regard, and remain willing to meet with you again to achieve consensus." This is no time for a consensus nominee who would replace Justice O'Conner with another Justice O'Connor. Or worse.
There are four names that top my list: Samuel Alito, Janice Rogers Brown, Michael Luttig and Priscilla Owen. There are others, but the president shouldn't even consider anyone who isn't as expert in constitutional jurisprudence as Associate Justice Scalia, and who doesn't have a sufficiently proven conservative judicial philosophy. Conservatives have been working too hard for too long to settle for anyone of lesser proven value.
If the president does what he should, it will bring about the fight of our political lives. It would have been good to have won without going through that fight. The Miers nomination precluded that by tossing away the momentum created by the Roberts confirmation. Now, the chance of having another justice confirmed this year is very slim. And the fight will be harder next year as soft Republicans head to the tall grass thinking of their own reelections.
This fight, as I've written before, will be liberalism's last stand. And it is the chance for us to reinvent and reinvogorate the conservative movement in this country. It's going to be very hard, but we can't forget that it's a perfectly winnable fight. Like the man said, bring it on.
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