Wednesday, October 05, 2005

More on Miers

Well, sort of. Here's a choice quote from Alexander Hamilton:

To what purpose then require the co-operation of the Senate? I answer, that the necessity of their concurrence would have a powerful, though, in general, a silent operation. It would be an excellent check upon a spirit of favoritism in the President, and would tend greatly to prevent the appointment of unfit characters from State prejudice, from family connection, from personal attachment, or from a view to popularity. . . . He would be both ashamed and afraid to bring forward, for the most distinguished or lucrative stations, candidates who had no other merit than that of coming from the same State to which he particularly belonged, or of being in some way or other personally allied to him, or of possessing the necessary insignificance and pliancy to render them the obsequious instruments of his pleasure.

(Hat tip to Hit and Run)

Jonah Goldberg on conservative appointees and those who would seek a sure vote on any topic:

This sounds to me a bit like the "results-oriented conservatism" some on the web are touting in Miers' defense. Who needs all that pointy-headed intellectual stuff if at the end of the day she votes the same way? (I assume some of these people defended Clarence Thomas against the charge that he's Scalia's sidekick. But why bother if the vote is all that matters?) Conservatives, I thought, were supposed to believe ideas have consequences, that American institutions -- chief among them the Supreme Court and the Constitution -- have specific and organic roles to play in the culture which depend on intellectual honesty, opposition to cant, and a dispassionate rejection of the politicization of the law. The reliable vote argument -- absent other rationales -- runs counter to all of these. This becomes obvious when you imagine a Democratic President appointing a confidante with few obvious credentials for the Supreme Court. A president Kerry could hardly convince any of us that his pick should be confirmed because she's a reliable vote.

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