Reidblog [The Reid Report blog]

Think at your own risk.
Wednesday, October 05, 2005
The Axis of Mediocrity, take two
The more you read about Harriet Miers, the more she actually sounds like Clarence Thomas: basically an affirmative action pick, designed to fill a "female seat" on the Court but said to be a more conservative version of the Justice she's replacing (as Thomas ... to the horror of many including myself, took the "Thurgood Marshall seat.")

And while no one (except the president, apparently,) really knows what her geopolitics are -- she could be a Scalia/Thomas or a more FReeper-bedeviling Souther/Kennedy/O'Connor -- I wouldn't be at all surprised if she wound up being very much like Thomas on the bench (should she get there): someone who seems to graft herself to a more experienced and ideological soul mate and essentially vote in tandem with them, the way Thomas does with Scalia, without much overt input (of course, not everyone agrees with this view of Thomas, but consider it a "thought experiment..." besides, there is plenty of ammunition in the 92 percent correlation between the Thomas/Scalia votes).

If so, Miers could turn out to fulfill the right's interests after all, provided she chooses to stitch herself to one of the stallwart rightists on the Court. The obvious choice for Miers would be John Roberts, whom she helped to steer onto the Court. In that case, of course, conservatives would have to assign double the trust in the president -- hoping that both Roberts and his charge vote their way. (If I were in the right's shoes, that would be a bridge too far... ) Or she could become the understudy of one of the older, more experienced justices (hell, maybe she and Ruth Bader Ginsberg could bond based on her former life as a Democrat and Ginsberg's with the ALCU...) Now the fact that Ms. Miers is purportedly an evangelical Christian (or so we're told) could make her a natural ally of Ratneresque Catholic Antonin Scalia. But who knows? I know plenty of evangelical Christians who are also die-hard Democrats, use birth control and are pro-choice...

And that's precisely the point. Miers is a cinched grab bag, she's mystery meat, she's a box of chocolates: nobody on the left or the right knows what they're going to get.

One more caveat: since it will be Roberts who, as chief justice, will assign who writes what ruling, it would be interesting to see the interplay of a Roberts court, including just what sorts of decisions he would assign to a Thomas or Scalia vs. the newbie. Thomas, it's said, has most often been called on to write opinions on regulatory and other non-"big issue" decisions. Would the same hold true for the Court's other "affirmative action" hire?

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Tags: , , Politics, SCOTUS, Law, News,

posted by JReid @ 1:23 AM  
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