Saturday, October 08, 2005

A Gentleman's 'D'

I heard John Podhoretz's segment on the Hugh Hewitt show about the Harriet Miers nomination and I must confess to a certain disappointment. On this subject, he came across as rather a snob. One would think that Mr. Podhoretz could allow that 25 years experience practicing law might actually lead to some knowledge of it but apparently practicing law isn't anywhere near as valuable as writing about it, in his view. From his tone, one could get the idea that he considers himself a better choice for the Court than Miers.

Does he really think that extensive experience practicing law, managing a large law firm, serving as White House counsel are intellectually undemanding exercises? Could it be his patently unfair 'D' grade of Ms. Miers is partially due to his disappointment that a Luttig or Janice Rogers Brown wasn't picked this time? Perhaps he should get his head out of the ivory tower, instead.

Look. This post isn't a defense of the nomination. I'm certainly not a Constitutional scholar, nor am I an expert politician. But. The fact is that the criticisms that I have seen from conservatives seems to be along the lines of "we didn't get the person we wanted, this one must be incompetent". The one valid complaint I've seen is the nomination smacks of cronyism. Given her membership in Bush's inner circle, that one's got some traction. But that fact does not establish incompetence (or competence for that matter). At this point, the only accurate thing that can be said about her qualifactions is that she would not be the only Justice was not a constitutional lawyer, and that we don't really know how competent she would be. Hopefully the hearings will provide some insight into the issue. Until then, why not reserve judgement instead of trashing the lady before she has a chance to make a case?

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