The Trouble with Harriet

I’ve been a little relentless. Reading Tom’s posts send a message of re-focus and clarity. Seek truth in a community of friendship. He’s right.

Unfortunately, there are more problems with the Harriet Miers nomination that should be discussed. First off is this strange report from John Fund about the teleconference between Christian conservatives and Texas judges Hecht and Kinkeade to discuss Miers. According to Fund, the two judges gave strong assurances that Miers would be a vote against Roe.

I should be happy about this, right? After all, I am seriously pro-life and have to try not to think about it too much to avoid being sick and miserable all the time about the loss of innocent life.

Readers and TRCers, I am not happy.

I do not believe that we achieve justice by stacking the court in favor of a particular position on a particular issue. It is basically a disgusting phenomenon that every time a Supreme Court justice is nominated all anybody wants to know is what they think about Roe. Even liberal legal types know what’s wrong with Roe, it’s just a matter of whether they will interpret the law squarely and fairly.

The right course, the only course is to choose nominees who are dedicated to interpreting the law and the Constitution in a manner closely tied to its text and intent. If we can find justices who will do that, it will not matter what their policy preferences are. We have lost something precious with the left-wing move toward justices who embrace policy over strict interpretation of law. To the extent that we should ever embrace that mistake, except to substitute right-wing preferences, then we, too, will be in error.

Now, we don’t know how a Justice Miers would approach the problem since she lacks the indicators of judicial philosophy that would inform us. However, the Fund story gives all the appearances of a stealth nominee designed to stack the court on an issue rather than to give it a guiding philosophy. I think that’s the wrong approach. If Roe is going to be overturned, then it had better be via the fairest and cleanest hands method available. The way to do that is to bring back a correct judicial philosophy. And the way to do that is to appoint judges who have thought deeply about the act of judging.

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2 thoughts on “The Trouble with Harriet

  1. Roe vs. Wade will never be overturned. You are asking conservative individuals to do a radical thing; that virtually never happens.

    Thus, the moral question of “Do you cheat on judicial qualifications and philosophy to save lives by overturning roe?” is moot. Ain’t gonna happen.

  2. I do not believe that we achieve justice by stacking the court in favor of a particular position on a particular issue. It is basically a disgusting phenomenon that every time a Supreme Court justice is nominated all anybody wants to know is what they think about Roe. Even liberal legal types know what’s wrong with Roe, it’s just a matter of whether they will interpret the law squarely and fairly.

    I agree completely. I am so tired of every SCOTUS candidate being put up to the litmus test of Roe. I hate single issue voting, single issue litmus tests. I truly believe if you get good, intelligent people of character, they will do what’s right (Bush v. Gore aside).

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