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Bush pulls a Johnson: Counsel Harriet Miers is Nominee #2

The nomination of White House Counsel Harriet Miers (see the LA Times' factsheet for more on her background) is raising more than just eyebrows from fans and foes alike.

"[A]ppointing his "personal lawyer" from Texas seems very Lyndon Johnsonish, and is hardly likely to repel recent charges of Bush Administration cronyism," blogs David Bernstein on The Volokh Conspiracy. "On the other hand, I'm please that Miers is (a) not from an elite law school; (b) not a federal judge; and (c) spent the vast majority of her career outside the beltway ..."

Compared to the unremitting dismay emitting from the majority of the conservative blogosphere this morning, Bernstein's equivocation sounds positively gushy. So does The Wired GC, who climbs out from under his so-called corporate rock to surmise that Miers will be confirmed, by much the same margins as Roberts. In "A GC on SCOTUS?" he writes:

"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."

I have yet to find anyone else who agrees (update: I should note, in all fairness, that the Wired GC was quick to the story and I didn't find other such blog fans in the early a.m. If you have, please add them to the comments below? Thanks).

Meanwhile, predicting that "the themes of the opposition will be cronyism and inexperience," Tom Goldstein of SCOTUSblog anticipates failure for this nominee:

"I have no view on whether she should be confirmed (it's simply too early to say), but will go out on a limb and predict that she will be rejected by the Senate. In my view, Justice O'Connor will still be sitting on the Court on January 1, 2006."

What is Goldstein on about? Specifically, the conservative response, which starts off bad at RedState.com's confirmthem.com and gets worse as I trip through conservative bloggers. "Good grief," writes Steve L. at Secure Liberty. Is this "the best the President could do?"

"I don't think she'll be confirmed, and I don't really think she should be. She's marginally qualified at best. If the Democrats are smart, they may push for a floor vote immediately so they can get her on board. She's a clear victory for them. Imagine, the President nominated somebody that [Sen.] Harry Reid [D-Nev.] wanted. That alone should tell you all you need to know."

Oh my, that's critical language, I thought to myself -- until I read openly conservative but typically circumspect corporate law expert professor Bainbridge: "I'm appalled."

Then I clicked over to another righty, Wizbang, and read the long list of heart-felt quotes in response to Miers. The upshot? Many conservative bloggers are disappointed -- and not in Ms. Miers. Wizbang writes, "Bush is asking us to trust him on this, big-time. I and many others wish we had much more than that to go on."

According to Ann Althouse, who has been watching C-Span, Sen. Charles Schumer, D.-N.Y., indicated Miers was on a list of candidates Democrats presented to Bush as acceptable. "Schumer looked happy," writes Althouse.

His--Bush's--foot soldiers aren't.

Stay tuned ...

Posted by Laurel Newby on October 3, 2005 at 11:47 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

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