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October 10, 2005

Harriet Miers's underwhelming support

The Washington Times claims that "[n]early half of Senate Republicans say they remain unconvinced that Harriet Miers is worthy of being confirmed to the Supreme Court," according to its survey. And that's her friends.

The paper calls it "troubling for President Bush" that 27 Republican senators "have publicly expressed specific doubts about Miss Miers or said they must withhold any support whatsoever for her nomination until after the hearings." What's actually more troubling for Bush is that he doesn't even seem to have the moderate Liddy Dole's vote locked up.

A typical chilly response to the Miers nomination came from Sen. Elizabeth Dole, the North Carolina Republican who is one of Mr. Bush's most unwavering supporters.

After Chief Justice Roberts was nominated to lead the court, Mrs. Dole issued a statement to "commend President Bush for his decision to nominate John Roberts to be the next chief justice of the United States."

Not so with Miss Miers.

"As the nomination process moves ahead, I look forward to reviewing Ms. Miers' qualification and her views on the proper role of the judiciary," Mrs. Dole said. "I am hopeful that the confirmation process will be both fair and civil."
The article mentioned several other Republican senators, including Senators Brownback and Coburn, who are members of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Elsewhere, I've read that Senator Jeff Sessions, another committee member, is having some heartache over the nomination.

Maybe Miers should take Specter's advice, even if she doesn't take Charles Krauthammer's advice.

UPDATE (10/11): This morning's Washington Times suggests the White House is in denial:
The White House yesterday dismissed early doubts from nearly half the Senate's Republicans over the Supreme Court nomination of Harriet Miers, saying that lawmakers also expressed doubts about Judge John G. Roberts Jr., who was easily confirmed last month as chief justice.

"Even before the hearings that led to confirmation of Chief Justice Roberts, senators were saying they were reserving judgment on how they would vote until they got to know him better at the hearings," deputy press secretary Dana Perino said.

"Now the same is being said about Harriet Miers, just one week after her nomination, and that should not be surprising nor be cast in a negative light for what is the norm," she said.
Then again, this is only a press secretary, the kind of flak about whom Groucho Marx could have applied his quip, "Who are ya gonna believe, me or your own eyes?" (OK, it was really said by Chico in Duck Soup, but he was dressed as Groucho.)