Recently appointed Chief Justice John Roberts is qualified for the Supreme Court. While only less than one percent of Americans who are rich, white, conservative and male can relate to him, he possesses the knowledge and experience one needs to be a competent figure on the Supreme Court.

Current Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers, on the other hand, is one of the worst nominations to the bench ever and – unless we find out more about her that merits consideration – she deserves flat-out rejection. Supreme Court justices have to be fair, experienced, qualified and independent. Unlike Roberts, she exhibits none of these traits and there are several questions that need to be answered before the Senate votes on her nomination next month.

Ever since she worked for then-governor Bush in 1994, Miers has consistently donated large amounts of money only to Republicans. What’s to stop her from donating solely to Republican ideology if confirmed?

Also, unlike most other justices that have served on the Court, she lacks even a shred of the political or legal expertise necessary for the position. Being elected twice to the Dallas City Council or appointed to the Texas Lottery Commission hardly denotes a qualified Supreme Court nominee. This leads one to question her familiarity with the tradition of stare decisis, leading her to vote based on personal views rather than on established legal precedent.

Furthermore, her only job in the legal world has been as a corporate lawyer. There are over a million lawyers in America today, very few of which are qualified for a federal judgeship, let alone the Supreme Court. Why is her rsum more impressive than all the rest?

Finally, she has served on the current Bush Administration for the last five years as Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy. Under this role, she has often acted as a spokeswoman for many of the Administration’s policies, including No Child Left Behind, the war in Iraq and the war on terrorism. Is she going to be independent from the executive branch, or a political crony of Bush?

The only reasons Bush has been telling us to confirm her is that, “she shares his judicial philosophy” and because we should trust him. Did Bush lie when he told us that despite their close relationship over the past ten years, he does not know her political views?

Additionally, many comments can be made about what she was thinking when she said of Bush, “He’s the most brilliant man I have ever met.”

While it is vitally important to have more women and minorities on the bench, it is even more important that nominees be supremely qualified. Miers’ track record does a great disservice to the many women who are federal legal experts, or who are experienced in national politics and should have been picked instead.

This nominee may be Dick Cheney in disguise. If you still don’t see the grand picture, then ask yourself – for the previous nomination, would you support it if Bush nominated another administration official, let’s say Karl Rove, instead of Roberts to the Court?

When the Senate Judiciary Committee begins the hearings on Miers next month, it would be in our best interest for Miers to do some explaining to the committee. Unless she can demonstrate her worth, there is nothing that qualifies her to a lifetime appointment to one of the world’s most influential courts.

Cantor can be reached at acantor@campustimes.org.



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