Monday, October 03, 2005

Friends in high places

Today Harriet Miers was announced as the latest nominee for the US Supreme Court. What, if anything, does this mean?

It means we're all being tested to see if we're paying attention.

Compared to Harriet Miers, recent Supreme Court Chief Justice appointee John Roberts had a wealth of past judicial experience - Ms. Miers' experience on the bench is nil.

No, I don't believe you must already be a judge to be an appropriate Supreme Court nominee - many other Supreme Court Justices have had no judicial experience before joining the Court. What worries me the most is one single line, stated in an AP article today, which read:
Whatever her credentials for the high court, Miers' loyalty to Bush ... is above question.
At this particular moment in our history, I find it a bit scary to put my faith in a Supreme Court nominee who today, when she has a free-will choice, remains committed to the path and policy of the current administration. And it will frighten me if the American populace doesn't have the same trepidation.

This is someone who, by virtue of continued loyalty, apparently believes that the ever-changing line of reason behind the Iraq war leaves no moral or ethical dilemmas. Someone who believes in the reduction of civil liberties. Someone who is okay with twisting meaning and interpretation to fit personal belief, and can do it with a clear conscience. And someone who believes that America is currently on the right path - because she continues to promote that path.

This is reason enough to be alarmed. I might be able to accept that from a politician - but not from a Supreme Court justice.

And Harriet Miers is not just an average administration employee - if that were all she was, then there would be less to fear. But she has been a personal friend and counsel to George W. Bush for more than a decade. She is part of the inner-circle - not the periphery. Do the names Cheney, Rumsfeld, Gonzales, Wolfowitz and Rove mean anything? Do we want that ideology on the Court?

While she is most certainly an intelligent and highly distinguished attorney, her nomination also symbolizes yet another case of "cronyism" with this administration. Another bold and in-your-face case of it's not what you know, but who you know.

This is a test. Are we paying attention? Are we going to allow this to take place?

Have we really hit the point in our country's evolution where all of us accept the premise, unquestioningly, that there are no qualified candidates for any positions except for those who are personal friends of George W. Bush?

I hope we're all smarter than that.

If not, then we have no one to blame but ourselves for the consequences.



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