- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Getting Borked

With a single stroke — the nomination of Harriet Miers — the president has damaged the prospects for reform of a left-leaning and imperialistic Supreme Court, taken the heart out of a rising generation of constitutional scholars, and widened the fissures within the conservative movement. That’s not a bad day’s work — for liberals,” Robert H. Bork writes in the Wall Street Journal.

“There is, to say the least, a heavy presumption that Ms. Miers, though undoubtedly possessed of many sterling qualities, is not qualified to be on the Supreme Court. It is not just that she has no known experience with constitutional law and no known opinions on judicial philosophy. It is worse than that. As president of the Texas Bar Association, she wrote columns for the association’s journal. David Brooks of the New York Times examined those columns. He reports, with supporting examples, that the quality of her thought and writing demonstrates absolutely no ‘ability to write clearly and argue incisively.’

“The administration’s defense of the nomination is pathetic: Ms. Miers was a bar association president (a nonqualification for anyone familiar with the bureaucratic service that leads to such presidencies); she shares Mr. Bush’s judicial philosophy (which seems to consist of bromides about ‘strict construction’ and the like); and she is, as an evangelical Christian, deeply religious. That last, along with her contributions to pro-life causes, is designed to suggest that she does not like Roe v. Wade, though it certainly does not necessarily mean that she would vote to overturn that constitutional travesty,” said Mr. Bork, a former judge and one-time Supreme Court nominee.

“There is a great deal more to constitutional law than hostility to Roe. Ms. Miers is reported to have endorsed affirmative action. That position, or its opposite, can be reconciled with Christian belief. Issues we cannot now identify or even imagine will come before the court in the next 20 years. Reliance upon religious faith tells us nothing about how a Justice Miers would rule. Only a commitment to originalism provides a solid foundation for constitutional adjudication. There is no sign that she has thought about, much less adopted, that philosophy of judging.”

Sheehan vs. Hillary

Cindy Sheehan, the so-called “peace mom” on a crusade to end U.S. involvement in Iraq, is publicly blasting Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, New York Democrat, for her continued support of the ongoing conflict, Joe Kovacs reports at www.WorldNetDaily.com.

“I think she is a political animal who believes she has to be a war hawk to keep up with the big boys,” Mrs. Sheehan writes in an open letter posted on anti-Bush filmmaker Michael Moore’s Web site. “I would love to support Hillary for president if she would come out against the travesty in Iraq. But I don’t think she can speak out against the occupation, because she supports it. I will not make the mistake of supporting another pro-war Democrat for president again: As I won’t support a pro-war Republican.”

The California woman, whose son Casey was killed fighting insurgents in Iraq, launched an anti-war movement in August when she camped outside President Bush’s Crawford, Texas, ranch and demanded to meet with the commander in chief, drawing national media attention.

She was granted a meeting with Mrs. Clinton to discuss the war effort, but says the Democrat “apparently” didn’t listen, as the senator told a reporter for the Village Voice, “My bottom line is that I don’t want their sons to die in vain. … I don’t believe it’s smart to set a date for withdrawal. … I don’t think it’s the right time to withdraw.”

“That sounds like Rush Limbaugh to me,” Mrs. Sheehan said. “That doesn’t sound like an opposition party leader speaking to me. What Sen. Clinton said after our meeting sounds exactly like the Republican Party talking points I heard from Senators Dole and McCain.”

Warrant issued

A Texas court yesterday issued a warrant for Rep. Tom DeLay, ordering him to appear at the Fort Bend County jail for booking on state conspiracy and money-laundering charges.

The court set an initial $10,000 bail as a routine step before the Texas Republican’s first court appearance tomorrow.

Mr. DeLay could be fingerprinted and photographed, although his lawyers had hoped to avoid this step. Mr. DeLay will surrender in his home county, near Houston, although his court appearance will be in Austin, the Associated Press reports.

The warrant, known as a capias, is “a matter of routine and bond will be posted,” said Mr. DeLay’s attorney, Dick DeGuerin.

Mr. DeLay has stepped down as House majority leader — at least temporarily — under a Republican rule requiring him to relinquish the leadership post if indicted.

Two grand juries have charged Mr. DeLay and two political associates in a purported scheme to violate state election law, by funneling corporate donations to candidates for the Texas Legislature. State law prohibits use of corporate donations to finance state campaigns, although the money can be used for administrative expenses.

Misplaced gloating

“As Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald mulls possible charges in the Valerie Plame investigation, the gloating in liberal enclaves like Manhattan, Oberlin and [Arianna Huffington’s] dining room has swelled to a roar,” Jacob Weisberg writes at the Web magazine Slate (www.slate.msn.com.)

“Opponents of the Bush administration are anticipating vindication on various fronts — justice for their nemesis Karl Rove, repudiation of George W. Bush’s dishonest case for the Iraq war, a comeuppance for Chalabi-loving reporter Judith Miller of the New York Times, and even some payback for the excesses of independent counsels during the Clinton years,” Mr. Weisberg said.

“Hold the schadenfreude, blue-staters. Rooting for Rove’s indictment in this case isn’t just unseemly, it’s unthinking and ultimately self-destructive. Anyone who cares about civil liberties, freedom of information, or even just fair play should have been skeptical about Fitzgerald’s investigation from the start. Claiming a few conservative scalps might be satisfying, but they’ll come at a cost to principles liberals hold dear: the press’s right to find out, the government’s ability to disclose, and the public’s right to know.”

Lunch with Bono

Bono may not have had to sing for his meal, but the U2 rocker had the ear of President Bush over lunch yesterday, Reuters news agency reports.

In Washington to perform a concert, Bono was invited to the White House residence to follow up on discussions he and Mr. Bush had at the Group of Eight summit in Gleneagles, Scotland, in July, White House spokesman Scott McClellan said.

“Both share a deep commitment to combating AIDS, preventing malaria, and expanding trade to lift people out of poverty, particularly in developing countries,” Mr. McClellan said.

Might he be considered for an administration job?

“I haven’t heard that,” Mr. McClellan told reporters. “I think he’s enjoying the career that he has right now and doing all the good work that he does on behalf of people who are suffering in developing countries.”

Greg Pierce can be reached at 202/636-3285 or gpierce@washingtontimes.com.

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