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10/19/2005

Miers' nomination may be in real trouble

It appears to me that someone really messed up the vetting process on Miers. She was supposed to be the stealth candidate on abortion, but it comes out that she supported a constitutional amendment in 1989 to ban abortion. Did not anyone know about that? Beyond the vetting issue, the White House has been giving all sorts of signals on her personal views that she opposes abortion. The Democrats might want to let her on the court, but their constituents might not let them given what appears to be her strong views on abortion. Her backtracking on her recent statements on Griswold v. Connecticut is another mess.

John Fund notes in today's "Political Diary":

A number of Republican Senators are sending desperate political semaphore signals to the White House that the Harriet Miers nomination is in deep trouble. Last week, Senator Rick Santorum, the most vulnerable GOP incumbent up for re-election next year, criticized the argument that Senators should blindly trust the president. "I am concerned President Bush nominated someone who is a blank slate. I'm disappointed that he wanted to nominate someone like that instead of someone with a record," he said. "It is what I term the president's second faith-based initiative, which is 'trust me.' I think, candidly, we deserve better than that."

Louisiana Republican David Vitter joined in yesterday when he issued the following statement: "In terms of her background and experience, I'm hearing it described as very 'practical.' I just want to make sure she's not practical like a lot of political people are -- with no consistent philosophy and without the will to stand up against popular attitudes when they're not grounded in the Constitution." Ouch.

Late yesterday afternoon, Nevada Republican John Ensign expressed open skepticism when he told a reporter: "I think this is too big of a vote just to trust the president or anybody else." If Ms. Miers' meetings with individual Senators continue to go as badly as I am hearing they are, expect more Senators to step forward and suggest the White House consider a Plan B.


Finally, if you have any questions left about the nomination, you might want to look at Robert Bork's piece today in the WSJ.

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