"Dedicated to exposing the lies and impeachable offenses of George W. Bush"

On Miers: The President can do better
The Manchester Union Leader
October 5, 2005

AMERICA is not supposed to work this way. We tell our children that here, in the land of opportunity, what you know is more important than who you know. Yet in politics, that maxim is too often inverted. For President Bush, "who' trumps "what' almost every time.

John Roberts was the happy exception to the President's usual method. Here was a nominee unquestionably qualified, with as sharp a legal mind as anyone in Washington could remember a nominee ever having. Harriet Miers, the President's legal counsel and nominee to succeed Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, is no more or less qualified to sit on the Supreme Court than thousands of other attorneys with similar career highlights. What separates her from the others is a single attribute: friendship with the President.

America is a meritocracy for good reason. Survival depended upon it. While Europe decayed from the rot of cronyism (that Britain's military was a cesspool of favoritism, while America's was not, certainly contributed to Britain's Revolutionary War defeat), America flourished under the ethics of individualism and self-sufficiency.

Yes, American politics has always been infected by cronyism to one degree or another. But that does not excuse its continuance — especially when applied to America's highest court of law.

Harriet Miers has no demonstrated competence in or aptitude for operating the machinery of the Supreme Court. Seats on the U.S. Supreme Court never have been reserved for people with judicial experience, of which Miers has none. Yet they are hardly the place for on-the-job training in the complexities of constitutional law. Unless Miers can demonstrate an exceptional understanding of the subject matter a Supreme Court justice can be expected to have mastered, the Senate should reject her nomination.