Bush's announced second nominee for the Supreme court has me a bit astonished.
I believe everyone will admit that Bush was able to shoehorn a highly qualified conservative to replace the recently passed Chief Justice Rehnquist. With very little real questions, a whole lot of political grandstanding and absolutely no substance, Congress green lighted new Chief Justice Roberts. Arguable this is a wash for the conservatives as Rehnquist and Roberts at best will be an ideological wash.
This brings us to Bush's second nomination. Let me first describe my fear on this one.
Constructionist - A person who construes a legal text or document in a specified way:
This is the definition as found on www.dictionary.com. More accurately maybe in today's context is a person who will construe any and all rights as only those that are explicitly provided for in the Constitution. It is my understanding that this is actually the goal of those referring to themselves as strict constructionists.
The problem with this definition is that the Constitution does not provide rights for me; it never did nor was it meant to. The founding fathers were not trying to spell out every right or to create a false boundary outside of which all things are restricted. This is a dangerous and treasonous view of the Constitution and its ideals.
The founding fathers referred to what are known as natural rights. The rights simply are. They do not need a document or a government to exist, they just are. The ironic part of the Constitution is that it had to be written to explicitly prevent the newly formed government from taking away that which was already ours.
Everyone throughout history has had freedom of speech, just in some places that freedom would get you killed (no I did not say consequence free). The Bill of Rights explicitly defined those rights with which the founding fathers had the most experience (and those which had been most recently transgressed upon by King George). However, any amount of reading of the founding fathers will show that this is not a list of all of our rights.
The question on Miss Miers will be whether she is a strict constructionist or not. The conservative right religious arm wants an anti-abortion nominee so they can finally overturn Roe v. Wade. The part that bothers me most about this is that they are claiming to want a non-activists who will apply the law as written, but only so long as that person is against abortion and willing to interpret the law in that manner. This is not better than any other group of ideologues that would inhibit my rights for any reason whatsoever.
I believe Bush has done one of two things. He has either avoided a fight and missed his real chance at causing a significant right lean to the Supreme court, or he has nominated someone deliberately without history who has given him personal assurances in many shall we say sensitive areas. What can be said for sure is that doing work for and being loyal to Bush certainly pays off. Miss Miers has long been Bush's personal lawyer, and anyone with any historic knowledge of our President will realize this had to have come with some challenges. John Roberts was an arguing attorney before the Supreme Court during the 2000 election year debacle (which appointed Bush President of the United States).
Whether Miers is a sheep in wolves clothing or a wolf in sheep's clothing time will only tell. But the only way she gets denied Justice O'Connor's' seat is if the GOP votes against her.