Thursday, October 27, 2005

Harriet Who?

Prior to being nominated by President Bush as a Supreme Court Justice, I had never heard of Harriet Miers. This is probably true for most Canadians. Today she withdrew her name from the nomination.

The viciousness of the attacks against Mrs. Miers didn't surprise me - where it came from did. Generally speaking, anything that has come out of the BushCo White House has been nearly worshipped by the "Conservatives" in the states. Not this time - apparently Mrs. Miers wasn't sufficiently pure in her politics to suit the Conservatives. In her notably vicious style, Ann Coulter spent a great deal of time trashing Mrs. Miers over the last few weeks. (Of course, Ms. Coulter is only fit to bay at the moon most of the time) I merely consider Ms. Coulter to be an ambassador for the ill-informed extreme nut-house of the right wing.

Why the howls of outrage over the Miers nomination? Fundamentally, the hard-line conservatives were all afraid that Miers wasn't "conservative enough".

When political ideology is the reason used to shout down a candidate - before any kind of confirmation hearings can take place - it speaks of a serious problem. The justices of the Supreme Court are not politicians, nor should they be appointed purely based on their political leanings. Their job is to interpret law, and in particular in the context of the laws and constitution. This isn't a matter of politics - it's a matter of law. As much as conservatives desperately want to overturn Roe v. Wade, and other civil rights decisions, they do themselves and their societies a disservice when they focus on the politics of a candidate.

It is notable that Roe v. Wade has withstood numerous challenges over the years, even with the Supreme Court stacked 7-2 in favour of the Republicans. If you stack the court with ideologues, what kind of rulings do you get? Are they solidly grounded in the law and constitution, or are they grounded in the momentary ideology of the day? If Roe v. Wade is overturned in the name of life, perhaps the overly lax interpretation of the "Right To Bear Arms" can be overturned by the same logic. Guns are devices uniquely dedicated to taking life, after all.

How will Conservatives react when their ideological "purity" is turned upon other treasured beliefs they hold that are inconsistent?

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