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Thursday, October 27, 2005

 

Miers Withdrawl

I was very interested to see this morning that Miers had withdrawn as a nominee for the Supreme Court. I must admit that I was concerned about her nomination, since it seemed to me that her nomination was an extremely political move on the part of the president, and as such, it did not seem appropriate considering the role of the Supreme Court.
From reading her letter, it seems that Miers was concerned about the integrity of the executive branch. I find this admirable, and I appreciate her idea that it is the role of the Supreme Court not to make law, but rather to interpret the law.
Bush's reaction was interesting. He seemed to blame her withdrawal on what he seemed to consider unreasonable requests for documents that would help to inform people of her background. Though I understand that it is important to retain the integrity of the executive branch and the trust among the President and his advisors, I wonder at why it would be such a problem for Miers to speak with regard to her previous actions and as to what she would do with regard to interpretation of the law.
This situation serves as a good example to show why it would be helpful to require Supreme Court nominees to answer questions with regard to interpretation of the constitution. We never did learn what Miers' definition of commerce was as it applied to the commerce clause in the constitution. We also never heard what Miers' opinion was on whether or not the power to tax was limited. If she had been made a member of the Supreme Court, we would have had very little evidence to tell us how she would have interpreted a very important aspect of our government. I think, after reading her letter of withdrawal, we have a much clearer idea of what she would do if she was on the supreme court, but that is only in the face of her withdrawal.
It seems to me that if we nominate people to the Supreme Court without knowing how they would interpret it, we are being irresponsible in using a tool that we have for limiting government's coercive power and preserving our rights. Perhaps we would do well to encourage our President to be cautious in whom he nominates to the Supreme Court. I think that it is important to know how Supreme Court nominees would interpret the Constitution based on this particular event. Miers’ withdrawal should be applauded, in light of her not having any examples of her interpretation of the Constitution. She made an admirable decision, based on the power of the Supreme Court within our government, and based on the ability of the American people to trust her judgment.

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