Hugh Hewitt probably won’t answer these questions so allow me.
1. Some conservative/Republican pundits/bloggers honestly believe Harriet Miers would be, for various reasons, a bad Supreme Court Justice. Do you believe those pundits/bloggers should (a) state their concerns publicly, (b) keep their mouths shut, or (c) support her anyway?
A. However, those pundits/bloggers who are merely following the crowd and doing the trendy thing should STFU. I voice no opinion as to which pundits/bloggers fall into which category; I’m merely pointing out that both categories exist, and if you have to ask which camp you’re in, it’s probably the trendy group that should STFU.
2. What issues are important enough issues to justify taking an active stand against a Republican president or Republican congressional leaders? Are there any such issues, other than the war?
There are too many such issues to list, so I’ll limit my answer to nominations. Some nominations, such as ambassador to Derkaderkistan, do not matter. Others, such as Fed Chairman, matter a great deal. Supreme Court nominations are very important, as well, albeit less so since you’re only nominate one of the nine at any given time. [Yeah, they're lifetime appointments, but how much that matters varies inversely to the nominee's age.]
3. Is the GOP worse off because John Tower’s nomination for Defense Secretary failed and he had to be replaced with Dick Cheney?
Probably not. Your point? The GOP certainly is worse off because Robert Bork’s nomination for Supreme Court Justice failed and he ultimately had to be replaced by
EdwardAnthony Kennedy. Seeing as Miers has been appointed to the Supreme Court rather than as Defense Secretary, the latter question seems more apropos than the former.
4. Is the GOP worse off because Republicans and conservatives – pundits, bloggers, and elected officials alike – participated in forcing Trent Lott to step down as GOP Senate Majority Leader?
No. Your point?
5. Is the GOP worse off because Ronald Reagan ran a primary campaign in 1976 against a sitting Republican president who then lost the general election by two points?
No. Is there a point buried in here somewhere? To save time, I might add that the GOP also is not worse off because John McCain ran a primary campaign in 2000 against the guy who is now the sitting Republican President. Or maybe it is worse off, but only if by doing so, McCain displaced a better challenger who would have actually beaten Bush and governed to the right of him – a long shot given the political landscape in 2000, but you never know.
6. Does it matter if a Supreme Court Justice does not write clear and logical opinions?
Yes. It also matters, albeit to a much lesser degree, if a blogger writes a series of confusing, contrived questions that don’t go anywhere.
7. Does it matter if a Supreme Court Justice does not know constitutional law well enough to avoid writing opinions in one case that will have unexpected bad consequences in other cases?
Certainly. If you have any evidence Harriet Miers falls into that category, I’d love to see you produce it. I don’t doubt you have that evidence already with respect to several sitting Justices, but alas, there isn’t anything we can do about that except sit around waiting for them to die (or, in Justice Stevens’s case, to admit he’s been brain-dead for at least a decade).
8. Even limiting the search to lawyers in private practice who have not been judges, and judging by the standards of legal reasoning and persuasive argument, is there any reason to believe that Harriet Miers was in the top 50 or 100 best lawyers in this country? If not, does it matter that she is not?
Judging by the various rating companies, she probably is among the top 100, and certainly is among the top 500. Given the insanely large number of lawyers in this country (even I am allowed to practice law in two states, for Chrissakes), the latter matters, the former does not.
9. Please cite examples of Harriet Miers’ [sic] writings that demonstrate an ability to write and reason clearly. If no examples are available, please explain why we should believe that such examples will be forthcoming before her nomination will be put to a vote.
I don’t know the procedure for pulling briefs in cases she’s argued, but I presume you could find them if you really wanted to. I’m assuming, of course, that your question is sincere rather than rhetorical. If it’s rhetorical, piss off.
10. What concrete, relevant information do you believe we will gain at the hearings regarding Harriet Miers’ qualifications and philosophy that we do not already have?
A clue as to what her judicial philosophy is, how well she knows the basic case law, etc. We only have one friggin’ hundred Senators, one-quarter of whom are sworn to oppose any Republican nominee any way they can. If these guys can’t make her look bad, it won’t be for a lack of trying. As Dafydd asks, I ask too: are you afraid she’ll do badly in the hearings, or are you afraid she’ll do well? If the former, WTF do you stand to lose by waiting and seeing?
11. Do you believe that continuing to tout Miers’ gender will, if she is voted down or withdrawn, make it impossible for President Bush to consider a male nominee?
No. In case you’ve forgotten, it was originally supposed to be impossible for Bush to appoint a man to replace Justice O’Connor the first time. He did it once, if need be he can do it again – though I shan’t complain the next time around if he opts for Janice Rogers Brown or Priscilla Owen instead.
12. Do you believe that continuing to tout Miers’ religion will, if she is voted down or withdrawn, make it impossible for President Bush to consider a non-evangelical Christian nominee?
No. Again, what is the point, or does that very question assume a fact not in evidence?
13. Do you believe that it is important to have an evangelical Christian among the Justices? If so, why is this different from other religious tests, and is it proper for nominees to be questioned about their religion?
No, it’s not important, all religious tests are wrong, and it’s not proper to question nominees about their religion.
14. Are Harriet Miers’ personal beliefs on abortion relevant to your support for her? If so, is it proper for nominees to be questioned about their personal beliefs on abortion?
Yes. In theory, a judge’s personal views about abortion should not matter. In practice, pro-choice judges have a nasty habit of being so insanely pro-choice that they can’t imagine why anyone else might see the issue differently, and ultimately delude themselves into thinking the Constitution guarantees a right to abortion. And I’m saying this as a pro-choice individual myself. If anti-abortion judges were running around claiming abortion was unconstitutional, then we’d have an equal and opposite problem in the opposite direction. They’re not, so we don’t.
15. Of the three, which should the #1 goal in Supreme Court battles: (a) getting Justices who produce good results, (b) getting Justices who follow good legal reasoning, or (c) getting Justices whose confirmation provides political benefits to the party?
16. How important is it that Roe v. Wade/Casey be reversed?
17. Which five precedents do you think are in most pressing need of reversal?
- Roe v. Wade /Casey v. Unplanned Parenthood / Stenberg v. MissIWannaKillMyKidDammit
- Wickard v. Filburn /Raich v. Ashcroft
- U.S. v. Miller – but I’d settle for a clear reversal of the lower courts’ idiotic “collective rights” cases that purport to apply it.
- Kelo v. New
- Roper and the related ‘tard case whose name escapes me at the moment.
18. Would you be satisfied with another Justice just like Lewis Powell? Potter Stewart? Warren Burger? Anthony Kennedy? Sandra Day O’Connor?
19. Do you believe that a significant portion of the GOP base is unhappy with the Miers nomination?
20. If not, do you believe that the pundits/bloggers who are openly critical of the nomination – including Rush Limbaugh, National Review, The Wall Street Journal, Bill Kristol, Laura Ingraham, Charles Krauthammer and George Will – are important parts of the GOP’s ability to win public issue debates and elections?
I do, so I technically shouldn’t answer this, but yes, I do believe they are important, albeit a bit less important than many of them (particularly George Will) seem to think they are.
21. Do you believe that the GOP is currently heading for a successful 2006 election cycle if it keeps doing the things it has done in 2005, or is a change of course needed to motivate the base and persuade swing voters?
The former. A change of course on certain issues – namely extreme spending – would be desirable, but I’d be lying if I said it was necessary for the GOP to do well in upcoming elections. The last few election cycles suggest precisely the opposite.
22. Do you believe that a defeat for Miers would make it less likely that candidates with no paper trail will be nominated in the future, just as Bork’s defeat make it less likely that candidates with extensive paper trails and well-known public positions would be nominated? Would that be a good thing?
Maybe, but it would be a small consolation unless other, much stronger reasons against her nomination were to emerge (e.g., lack of competence). I also think that for all the crapola about a paper trail, the main reason Robert Bork wasn’t confirmed is not anything he’s written about anything, but simply the fact that he looks like Herman Munster.
UPDATE: OK, this issue is moot now.