Saturday, October 22, 2005


This strikes me as troublesome. Apparently the folks over at Nomination Watch find the President's fast tracking of Harriet Miers' confirmation hearings highly suspect.
Why are we skeptical? Because on November 30 – the week after Thanksgiving -- the Supreme Court is scheduled to hear the case Ayotte v. Planned Parenthood. Ayotte, you’ll recall, is a critical case that could change the legal landscape of abortion in this country. It provides the opportunity for a new majority on the Court to rule that protecting women’s health when regulating abortion is no longer a constitutional requirement. It also gives the Court an opportunity to decide what standard courts should use when considering a challenge to an abortion law on its face, before it has taken effect.
The Bush Administration has filed a brief on the case, and it appears, they would much rather have Miers be a voting member of SCOTUS before the case is heard, as Justice O'Connor has voted in opposition to their view on both major issues. Indeed the hearings, as scheduled, are only a scant 36 days from the announcement of Miers nomination. As Nomination Watch said in this post:

Few nominations in modern times have moved that quickly. For the Roberts hearing, there were 56 days between the announcement (July 19) and the start of the hearing (Sept. 12); for the Thomas hearing, it was 65 days, and for the Bork hearing it was 77 days.

The idea of a whole conspiracy theory sounds slightly ridiculous, however it does seem more than coincidence. It is almost like convoluted forum shopping. If you want the case decided a certain way then make sure you hand pick a judge to replace one that openly opposes your viewpoint and put them in place just before the case is heard.
It's all very Pelican Brief-esque, without the murder of course.

If you would like to read specifics on Ayotte you can read the questions presented at the SCOTUS site, and the briefs from both sides courtesy of the ABA.


At 1:09 PM, October 23, 2005, Anonymous Michael said...

Schumer is saying today Miers doesn't have the votes to get confirmed. Perhaps I need to start hoping for that, although I haven't previously, since I thought that we could have done much worse than Miers (and Roberts.)

But, seriously, if Miers is defeated, I think Bush will HAVE to go with a conservative to appease the right-wingers. And they'll be almost certainly worse than Miers.


So, basically, they need to stall this to, say, December 1?

Only 1,184 more days...


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