Monday, October 03, 2005

The Case Against Harriet Miers

Harriet Miers is undoubtedly an excellent confidante of the President and a fabulous staff secretary. There can also be little doubt that she is hard working, intelligent, faithful, and forthright. But the case against Harriet Miers as Supreme Court Justice can be summed up in 105 words--the number of words of her official biography.

Harriet Miers is many things, but she is not a Constitutional scholar, well-seasoned in elective office, or someone who has made many public speeches or presentations on the workings of government. She is an unknown and unproven functionary whose chief virtue is the one virtue that we must reject--a strong tie to a particular chief executive.

Our Constitutional system relies on a separation of powers to ensure mutual accountability through competition for public fidelity. Cronyism, the formation of hidden and undemocratic power relationships, has been the bane of divided government from its inception. When the public cannot see clearly the workings of government the people lose a sure hand in controlling their collective destiny. Our Democracy becomes less of a democracy. We cannot demand excellence so we are forced to settle for the subpar. Corruption begins to flourish in the unseen reaches of the government. We have already seen the tragedy that cronyism has wrought on the faithful execution of public office in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. Cronyism serves only the cronies. This lesson ought not to be lost on us.

Over the past years we have seen an erosion of this system within the branches--Congressmen structuring their districts to ensure reelection after reelection, political families that seem to be self-perpetuating in public office and the simultaneous restriction of the public voice in the form of the McCain-Feingold law. Democratic accountability is on the wane at the hands of those who have taken an oath to preserve and protect it. We would be remiss if we sat by idle while the blessings of liberty were in the process of being withheld from future generations.

For these reasons, we must reject the nomination of Harriet Miers to the highest court in the land.