- The Washington Times - Friday, October 28, 2005

Regarding Harriet

Let me begin by stating that I am a Republican and a strong supporter of President Bush.

That being said, I am greatly disappointed in the chain of events that began when the president nominated Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court. My initial reaction, like that of many others, was surprise at the selection.

However, I share the view of the Founding Fathers who wrote our Constitution, that the lack of prior experience as a lawyer, let alone a judge, does not by itself disqualify a person from serving on the Supreme Court.

Rather, I had confidence that the president would appoint a candidate who in his judgment would make judicial decisions based only upon the Constitution, not that candidate’s personal feelings or agenda in regard to this issue or that. What a concept.

As the president knew Miss Miers well and had worked closely with her for years, I trusted his choice. However, I was clearly in the minority. Unfortunately, the so-called conservative leadership in the country and its loyal followers removed any doubt that they are cut from the same cloth as the so-called liberal leadership and its followers.

Whereas conservatives have delivered nonstop and well-deserved criticism that the liberals required a litmus test of any Supreme Court nominee — that test being that the nominee would not vote to overturn Roe v. Wade — it seems the bulk of conservatives require a similar litmus test — that the nominee would vote to overturn Roe v. Wade.

That view is just as wrong and dangerous as the liberal view. Anyone who denies that Roe v. Wade was the issue that so mobilized the bulk of the opposition to Miss Miers among conservatives in this country must also believe in the tooth fairy and the Easter Bunny.

It is a sad day for this country when the evidence is so clear-cut that we are more interested in a nominee’s viewpoint on Roe v. Wade than we are in whether that nominee will follow the Constitution rather than whimsically make law from the bench. Can you say eminent domain? The legacy of George Bush pales in importance compared to the proper constitution of the Supreme Court.

My sincere hope is that the president will once again nominate a candidate who he believes will rule strictly in accordance with the Constitution and check his or her personal agenda at the door each day he or she goes to work.

BOB SEGAL

Burke

Americans should welcome the withdrawal of Harriet Miers’ nomination to the Supreme Court. She failed to demonstrate during her Senate visits and other opportunities to show she reached the high bar needed to be a justice on the highest court in the land. Hopefully, this defeat will teach President Bush that just because someone is close to him, that doesn’t necessarily mean that person is the best candidate. I also would urge the president not to nominate, in response to this withdrawal, someone who is out of the judicial mainstream just to satisfy the far-right wing of his party.

STEVEN M. CLAYTON

Ocean, N.J.

I don’t understand how anyone could be confused about the conservative concern over the nomination of Harriet Miers. The fact that Democrats didn’t go ballistic over her nomination, coupled with the fact that some of them actually seemed to support her, was reason enough for concern. It isn’t rocket science. If President Bush had kept his promise and nominated a real conservative, the Democrats would have been apoplectic.

The reason, and the only reason, why conservatives opposed this nomination, is that the president lied; Miss Miers is simply not cut from the same cloth as Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas.

ROBERT DI STEFANO

Abingdon, Md.

Yesterday’s editorial “Judicious actions” captured the situation well: Harriet Miers is a competent lawyer with strong accomplishments worthy of her post in the White House and perhaps some other court appointment, but not a Supreme Court appointment. I hope the president will learn from his failure with Miss Miers and choose someone more like John Roberts — someone with a resume so strong that Senate Democrats will appear like partisan hacks if they don’t endorse the choice.

Miss Miers acted intelligently by withdrawing her name from a post for which she was clearly underqualified. She saved the administration the harsh blow that comes with a rejected Supreme Court nomination. It seems that it would be hard for this administration to take now, dealing with possible indictments, low approval rating and other challenges. Really, Miss Miers’ choice to step down is the best thing (if not the only good thing) that has happened to the Bush White House in quite some time. If President Bush chooses wisely in his next pick for the court — nominating a proven originalist with unquestionable and unattackable qualifications — the Miers disappointment will be water under the bridge.

EDMUND WILLIAMS

Philadelphia

Holes in the debate

The article “Evolution of Darwin vs. design” (Culture, et cetera, Thursday) was interesting for both sides of the debate. While I’m no apologist for evolution and find all manner of issues with it, I also realize there are holes in both sides.

Contrary to what the intelligent design movement claims, though, the view its proponents champion really is (in at least this one aspect) what their opponents say it is: biblical creationism under a more science-friendly title. To those who say it’s not, a simple question: Suppose a claim were made that the “intelligent designer” was Zeus or Atlas rather than the God of the Bible? I don’t think the intelligent design camp would be too quick to hop aboard.

That said, though, what is the harm in examining the problems and shortcomings of evolution? Every scientific idea goes through a period during which the theory is formulated, tested, revised, retested and finally settled as reliable (not, however, “proved.” Nothing outside mathematics can be proved).

The major difference between this case and other scientific theories is that this one can never be demonstrated in the lab. The same data are interpreted by each camp as consistent with its notions. Until human bones are found right next to those of a dinosaur, or the half-life of uranium is shown never to have changed, this debate will endure. But a complete formal education should acknowledge and examine responsible alternatives to the popular view on matters of debate.

JACK WEBB

Springfield

Borrow-and-spend Republicans

In reality, there’s little difference between the tax-and-spend Democrats and the borrow-and-spend Republicans. It’s just a case of what they spend money on — butter or guns — and when they pay for it. The Democrats “pay as you go”; the Republicans are leaving the costs to our children.

In the last sentence of his opinion column “Overspending causes and cure” (Commentary, Thursday), Donald Lambro shot himself in the foot by arguing that “as Mr. Bush has shown — tax cuts are the most effective weapon in [spending reduction]. When you take away their money, they have less to spend.”

Really? I interpreted Mr. Lambro’s commentary as railing against the continued increase in spending in spite of the recent tax cuts. Does he really suggest continuing a policy that so obviously has failed?

A plague on both their houses, but I find Mr. Lambro’s whole commentary to be an oxymoron that is typical of Republican fiscal policy. Should we try more of a failed policy? I also find the Republicans’ borrow-and? spend attitude the more hypocritical of the two parties’ attitudes. If we need more spending for our defense (or for butter), we should pay for it now, not pass the cost to our children.

WILLIAM C. DIXON

McLean

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