This is not the time to act like preening Ivory Tower elitists, but to call Harry Reid's bluff. Miers will cast the votes that O'Connor wouldn't. And that's all that matters.Beldar is thinking along the same line.
My blogospheric friend Prof. Stephen Bainbridge, who's another early critic of the Miers nomination, quoted today the famous and still very funny comment by Sen. Roman Hruska on Nixon nominee Harold Carswell: "Even if he is mediocre, there are a lot of mediocre judges and people and lawyers. They are entitled to a little representation, aren't they?" Well, I'm not arguing in favor of mediocre nominees. What I am arguing is that a nominee is not mediocre, or unfit, or likely to be a disaster on the Court, simply because he or she comes from a career spent mostly in private practice! We in private practice tend to spend less time worrying about the meaning of life and the universe and how that guides and informs the evolution of substantive due process under the Constitution. But that's exactly the kind of — forgive, again, my bluntness — metaphysical crap you get in Supreme Court opinions written by lawyers who've spent most of their careers as academics.Well, I'm willing to bet they're right, but I just don't think the President needed to go with a stealth candidate on this one.
UPDATE: Jeff Goldstein offers this take on the "anti-academic" argument.
I do think Republican strategists—who have been sent out to push Miers’ “real world,” anti-"academic" credentials on the political talk shows—are taking the wrong tack: many legal conservatives on the right want a brilliant legal theorist and thinker precisely because we believe that such a nominee would naturally support our view of how the judiciary should function, and of how the Constitution ought be read.Jonah Goldberg is also skeptical of this defense of Miers. On the other hand, Thomas Lifson trusts the President's Harvard Business School honed political acumen and also thinks conservative "doom and gloomers" should calm down (or be ignored).
As I noted yesterday, I’m far less interested in someone bringing a unique perspective to the Bench than I am with someone bringing a proper perspective to the role of Judge.
Miers might be that person, I don’t know. But I think the strategy of pushing her as a “judicial outsider” is shortsighted; after all, we just got done hearing about all of John Roberts’ qualities, which proceeded from the very kind of background this current PR campaign seems to be offhandedly criticizing.