October 7, 2005

The lingering Justice O'Connor.

What is the effect of Justice O'Connor's continuing on the Court this term? What of all those lawyers who have shaped their arguments specifically to appeal to her way of thinking, whose briefs are already filed? And what of the lawyers who've considered or who are considering doing that, without knowing whether she'll be there to decide the case or not? Then there's the particular case of Jay Sekulow, director of the American Center for Law and Justice, who said, in a White House sponsored conference call pushing the Miers nomination:
"Let me tell you this from the perspective of someone who litigates cases regularly in the Supreme Court of the United States. I'm involved in three three cases at the Court this Term, and believe me: I want Harriet Meirs up there voting on these critical cases."
Eric Muller is very outraged at Sekulow and the White House. But Sekulow clearly states that he doesn't know for sure how Miers will vote. And I note his probable, though unspoken, preference to be free of O'Connor's vote.

8 comments:

SAMPLES said...

This has nothing to do with the post, but I must ask: what happened to the usual Apprentice commentary?

Ann Althouse said...

Good question. I did watch both shows...

Brendan said...

I wonder how much of the opposition to Miers stems from the fact that she's an aging, ugly hag. John Roberts, by contrast, was the youthful "golden boy." Miers? A long-in-the-tooth spinster. Robert Bork wasn't GQ material either. Something to think about.

John(classic) said...

Were I arguing a case before the Supreme Court that I thought likely to win I would prefer not to have O'Connor on the court, the opposite were I likely to lose.

The problem is her unpredictability. It not only would be difficult to predict how she would come out, it would be difficult to predict the argument that would appeal to her.

But those are awfully fine points that would take a very skillful lawyer far more knowledgeable than I to wisely use.

Bob_Minn said...

Eric's reaction is very overblown. In context, the common sense meaning is that Sekulow would rather have O'Conner gone because he does not like her judicial philosophy or approach to the law. Good Lord, if Sekulow really was concerned about swinging votes for his pending cases in an unethical manner (i.e., I want Miers because she promised to help me on my cases), he would have kept his mouth shut. He certainly should have couched his language more clearly and cleverly, which you'd expect from a Supreme Court litigator... Eric, can we please save our powder and focus on the very real concerns about Miers and her abilities, and not attempt to create bombshell issues? (Notice I used a war term, not a sports one. Please save me from the now infamous Althouse wrath...) :)

Wade_Garrett said...

Brendan,

Ruth Bader Ginsberg.

Stacy said...

It just seems like more evidence that Miers is merely being placed on the Court as a party loyalist to push whatever agenda Bush deems significant. Miers probably wouldn't know the term "judicial independence" if she fell over it.

As for the conference call, Bush and his supporters should be embarrassed- this sort of pandering to the evangelical base is getting old and tired and it just makes the Miers nomination look worse. Some on the far right are going around trying to convince the Far Right she is an acceptable nominee by assuring them she is an evangelical christian. Hello? Last I heard her job on the Court will be to interpret the Constitution, not the bible.

chuck b. said...

"What of all those lawyers who have shaped their arguments specifically to appeal to her way of thinking, whose briefs are already filed?"

This seems like a strategy lawyers should deprived of. Why not increase the number of Supreme Court justices and draw a panel of nine, by lottery, for every case that gets cert. No telling who the justices are until after the briefs have been filed.


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