Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Bruising confirmation fight?

CBS News legal analyst Andrew Cohen predicts a bruising confirmation fight for Harriet Miers because
She has no judicial experience. She does not possess a world-class intellect like her would-be predecessor on the Court [Remember: O'Connor was #3 in her class at Stanford -- TKM]. She is a Bush crony at a time when there already is great criticism of the White House for placing into high office friends whose loyalty to the president overshadows their professional competence.

All good reasons. And she pales in comparison to the new Chief Justice:
Unlike Roberts, she wasn’t writing memos in her mid-20s to the attorney general of the United States. Unlike Roberts, she didn’t clerk for the Supreme Court. It is not an accident that Mr. Bush did not talk about Miers’ superior brainpower when he introduced her to the nation Monday morning.

Cohen is right on the details, but wrong on the larger picture. Because Miers is NOT Brown/Owen/Corrigan/Batchelder/Williams, I think the Democrats will look to the alternatives to not confirming her: (1) definite conservative who would be nominated instead of a potential Souter-lite; (2) filibuster fight that the Democrats WILL lose (the public is squarely behind the Republicans on this); (3) negatives from Democrat obstructionism that the Republicans could use in the 2006 mid-term elections. Each factor mitigates against playing hardball with Miers.

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