This morning President Bush nominated White House Counsel Harriet Miers to succeed Justice Sandra Day O’Connor.
While I was expecting the nomination of a woman, I had a faint hope it would be Justice Maura Corrigan (Update: Apparently William Kristol agrees). If you said a GC was involved, I thought it would be Larry Thompson of Pepsico.
I avoided commenting on the confirmation of Chief Justice John Roberts, and I will let others expend substantial time and massive bandwidth on the Miers nomination.
But I can’t resist spending my 2 cents. It seems that President Bush looked at two sets of numbers in the Roberts confirmation: 13-5 and 78-22. Those votes, from the Senate Judiciary Committee and the entire Senate, illustrated that someone with qualifications will get confirmed. Advice and consent does not require prior approval.
When the Democratic leadership announced after the Roberts confirmation that this one would be tougher and the nominee’s record would be strictly scrutinized, President Bush responds by nominating someone without a judicial record.
Also, much like when Vice President Cheney was vetting potential running mates for President Bush, the President picked the person who was “running the show.” Familiarity and loyalty seem to count a lot.
My surmise is that the minority will make issue of Ms. Miers’ lack of judicial experience and her career proximity to the President.
But at the end of the day, my guess is that Ms. Miers’ substantial legal experience and achievement will lead to confirmation, in numbers very close to those of Chief Justice Roberts. The drama of Senators Schumer, Kennedy and Biden railing against Ms. Miers may make for must-see TV, but likely won’t resonate with the public.
Now I climb back under the corporate rock and we’ll return Wednesday to matters outside the Beltway.