It's not how she'll vote -- but WHY she'll vote
Gerard Baker essentially restates the case against Harriet Miers' nomination, but raises a crucial point. By emphasizing Ms. Miers' religion, Mr. Bush has trivialized and distorted, perhaps forever in the public mind, the conservative outlook on Constitutional matters and Supreme Court rulings. One wonders if he even understands it.
The Trouble with Harriet
The answer is not just her proximity to Bush for all these years, but her religion. In an attempt to put out the fire on the right lit by the
nomination, White House officials have been reassuring supporters that Miers is fine because she is an evangelical Christian, who can be relied upon to vote accordingly.
This is about as troubling as it gets. It's not that there's anything wrong with evangelical Christianity. It is just that it should not, cannot, be the principal credential for appointment to the highest ranks of the American judiciary. It not only represents a breathtaking disregard for the principle that there should be no religious test--established in the Constitution--for public officials. It represents a profound lack of seriousness about conservative philosophy. The problem with Roe v. Wade, for example, is not that it is unchristian, but that it is a constitutional monstrosity. In appointing Miers, Bush is actually undermining conservative values by equating them with religious precepts. Whatever judgments she reaches on any issues, from abortion to the death penalty to the separation of Church and State, can be dismissed as simply a religious view, detached from jurisprudential thinking.