Thursday, October 13, 2005

The latest fallacies from Hugh Hewitt

Hugh Hewitt: October 09, 2005 - October 15, 2005 Archives:

I spoke to Karl Rove an hour ago. His support for the Miers nomination is not merely enthusiastic, but adamant and even vehement. The judicial philosophy question? She has been a member of the White House's judicial selection committee for three years, not the one I had thought, as the Deputy Chief of Staff sits on the committee, along with the White House Counsel and a handful of other senior aides, including Karl Rove. Every judicial nomination the president has made for the past three years has come through this committee. Prior to the discussion in the committee, every nominee's work is assembled and analyzed, and interviews are conducted by the committee members. The briefing books are prepared by the junior staff which is made up of all the sort of lawyers you'd expect, with all the right law schools and clerkships. The committee pours over the binders and then meets and debates the candidates, and a recommendation is made to the president. Rove described her role as detailed and deep, including as it did for all committee members the careful examination, analysis and discussion of candidates' opinions and writings.

Miers' participation in this process for three years presents opponents of her nomination with more than just a question of how the president's nominees reflect on Miers' --and the committee's judgment. More importantly, her participation in the process described discredits any idea that her core philosophy is unknown to the president or other senior aides. It defies common sense to imagine three years of such meetings leaving other senior staff and the president in the dark about her commitment to originalism."

I'm glad that Miers has at least SOME experience discussing judicial philosophy, but that doesn't mean she was discussing HER OWN judicial philosophy, so much as she was discussing how the others' philosophy are viewed in light of the President's stated philosophy.

Even if she had done all that, does that mean that every party involved in those discussions has an identical philosophy and is otherwise qualified for the court? No, of course not. Bush and Rove may have seen how she works and may not be totally in the dark about her philosophy, but WE ARE, and Bush's word doesn't cut it on that point. Moreover, a couple of hearings isn't a replacement for years of legal conservativism.

It is good to know how candidates are vetted in the WH, but it is equally disturbing to know that this same process wasn't followed in this case.