Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Better Justice

My friend and former boss Virginia Postrel formally joins a handful of prominent Bush backers and urges the president to pull the Miers appointment. The group, Americans for Better Justice, is asking people to e-mail and call senators to up the pressure on Bush. It has also produced an ad, set to run on Fox News starting Wednesday, to get out its message. Virginia explains her reasons for enlisting in this diverse group here. Money quote:

Unlike some social conservatives, my concerns are not results-oriented. As a matter of policy, I am perfectly happy to have abortion legal, with some restrictions, and actively support gay marriage. If there were any evidence (other than my friend Hugh Hewitt's imaginings) that Harriet Miers shared Richard Epstein's views on affirmative action, I'd give her a pass on that. (Now there' a line of questioning for the Judiciary Committee: Would you agree with Richard Epstein on affirmative action? Does she even know who he is or what he says?)

But the Supreme Court is not a legislature, in which the standard for a justice is whether he or she will "vote right." Supreme Court decisions set precedents beyond the case at hand, and they do that through the arguments they make--the very sort of logic and rhetoric Miers shows absolutely no interest in or competence for. Being the president's friend and lawyer, like being of the right sex and religion, does not by itself meet the requirements of the job.

This is a huge deal, considering that the board of advisors includes not only Virginia, but also Linda Chavez, Bush's first choice as secretary of labor, and David Frum, a speechwriter in the administration's early days -- the man who crafted the phrase "axis of evil." It should be difficult for even this insular administration to brush aside such a principled and public appeal from some people who were this tight with this president.

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