So - what do we all think about this? I know the Dems are not pleased...from what I hear - and now this article that says that the Conservatives aren't pleased either...
Bush pick for high court outrages conservatives
By Steve Holland 2 hours, 43 minutes ago
WASHINGTON (Reuters) -
President George W. Bush on Monday nominated White House insider Harriet Miers for a Supreme Court vacancy, triggering outrage from conservatives who questioned whether she would uphold their political views.
Bush chose Miers, a lawyer but not a judge whose opinions on key issues likely to come before the high court are largely unknown, to replace the retiring
Sandra Day O'Connor.
Conservatives who formed the bedrock foundation of Bush's re-election last November immediately protested the nomination as a betrayal of his campaign promise to pick conservative judges, pointing to her past campaign donations to Democrats.
Miers, 60, a longtime ally of Bush's going back to his days as Texas governor and currently White House counsel, would be the third woman ever to serve on the Supreme Court if confirmed by the U.S. Senate. O'Connor was the first and
Ruth Bader Ginsburg has been there since 1993.
"I believe that senators of both parties will find that Harriet Miers' talent, experience and judicial philosophy make her a superb choice to safeguard the constitutional liberties and equality of all Americans," Bush said in a hastily arranged Oval Office ceremony with Miers.
O'Connor, a moderate conservative, was the key swing vote on a number of 5-4 decisions on the closely divided Supreme Court. Democrats said much was unknown about Miers and that she would undergo intense scrutiny by the Senate.
The White House noted some Democrats had urged Bush to consider the Dallas-born Miers but would give no names. One of those, however, was Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, a Nevada Democrat.
"I like Harriet Miers," said Reid, who had voted against John Roberts as U.S. chief justice in Roberts' confirmation vote last week. "In my view, the Supreme Court would benefit from the addition of a justice who has real experience as a practicing lawyer."
But some conservatives expressed concern that Bush had missed a historic opportunity to shift the balance of the court in a clear way by picking someone in the same mold as conservative justices
Antonin Scalia and
"It is very hard to avoid the conclusion that
President Bush flinched from a fight on constitutional philosophy. Miers is undoubtedly a decent and competent person. But her selection will unavoidably be judged as reflecting a combination of cronyism and capitulation on the part of the president," said William Kristol, editor of the Weekly Standard magazine.
Manny Miranda, head of a conservative coalition called The Third Branch Conference, said Miers was "the most unqualified choice" for the high court since Lyndon Johnson tried to make Abe Fortas chief justice in 1968.
"I was hoping that the president would keep his campaign promise. He said he would name someone like Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas. We thought he meant someone with a clear judicial record on particular issues," Miranda said.
Texas Republican Sen. John Cornyn (news, bio, voting record) urged conservatives not to jump to conclusions and not to prejudge her.
Records show Miers has given money over the years to both Republicans and Democrats, including $1,000 to Democrat
Al Gore's presidential campaign in 1988.
In 1987 she gave $1,000 to former Texas Sen. Lloyd Bentsen. Bentsen was the Democratic vice presidential nominee who ran against Bush's father in 1988.
In more recent years, Miers has regularly contributed to Republicans such as Bush.
Democrats were largely measured in their reaction.
New York Democratic Sen. Charles Schumer (news, bio, voting record) said Democrats would push for documents on her and would pressure her to answer questions in order to get a sense of her judicial philosophy. "There's hope that Harriet Miers is a mainstream nominee," he said.
Vermont Sen. Patrick Leahy (news, bio, voting record), top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, said Miers has been a Bush loyalist and that "it is important to know whether she would enter this key post with the judicial independence necessary when the Supreme Court considers issues of interest to this administration."
Democrats were frustrated when the conservative Roberts, during his confirmation hearings, refused to comment on cases and issues that he might have to rule on.
It was the second time Bush filled a key government position with a person involved in the search process. In 2000
Dick Cheney had led Bush's search for a vice presidential candidate and ended up with the job. Miers had been on the search committee to find a replacement for O'Connor.
White House spokesman Scott McClellan said Bush met with her four times, on September 21, 28 and 29 and on Sunday night, when he offered her the job over dinner in the White House residence.
She was among six women in a group of 12 to 15 candidates considered for the position, said McClellan.
Bush credited Miers with breaking down barriers to women in the Texas legal profession, becoming the first woman to head her Dallas law firm, the first woman president of the Dallas Bar Association and the first woman elected president of the state bar of Texas.
He called on the Senate to conduct her confirmation hearings with "the same respect and civility" granted Roberts, who was in place on Monday for the opening of the Supreme Court's new term.
Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, a Tennessee Republican, said he hoped to Senate would vote on her by the Thanksgiving holiday November 24.
Bush said Miers would not legislate from the bench and would strictly interpret the Constitution, his code language for a conservative philosophy.
Miers said if confirmed she would work to help ensure the courts "meet their obligations to strictly apply the laws and the Constitution."
(Additional reporting by Thomas Ferraro, Tabassum Zakaria and Adam Entous)