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October 07, 2005

Maybe it really IS Harriet Miers's blog

If this story is true, then maybe that blog really is being written by Harriet Miers:

In an initial chat with Miers, according to several people with knowledge of the exchange, Leahy asked her to name her favorite Supreme Court justices. Miers responded with "Warren" -- which led Leahy to ask her whether she meant former Chief Justice Earl Warren, a liberal icon, or former Chief Justice Warren Burger, a conservative who voted for Roe v. Wade. Miers said she meant Warren Burger, the sources said.
It's very sad when your Supreme Court nominee is not as sharp as Patrick Leahy. And even if she actually meant Burger, that's a absolutely pathetic choice. Burger was a complete mediocrity and a pompous windbag, to boot.

Also, Charles Krauthammer calls for the nomination to be withdrawn.

(Both items via Bench Memos.)

UPDATE: This is hardly reassuring (from K-Lo at Bench Memos):
This is what I'm told happened:

"Miers was asked about Justices she admired. She responded that she admired different Justices for different reasons, including Warren — interrupted by Senator Leahy — Burger for his administrative skills.

Reasonable people could ask whether Burger was a great administrator, but the comment is taken out of context by the Washington Post. Miers didn't express admiration for his jurisprudence."
I notice that the person who reported this to K-Lo didn't mention any of the other justices Miers admired, leaving us with the suspicion that the list was not one to put us, or anyone, at ease.

Senator Leahy: What's your favorite case?
Harriet Miers: Brown.
Senator Leahy: Brown v. Board of Education?
Harriet Miers: Case? Oh, I thought you were referring to litigation bags.

UPDATE: Jim Lindgren at the Volokh Conspiracy says that Burger was a lot like Ted Baxter.

UPDATE: The whole Earl-Warren-Burger business reminds me of the confirmation hearings for Bill Lucas as head of the Civil Rights Division at the Justice Department in 1989. Lucas, by all accounts a nice man but way, way out of his league, was asked about certain major civil rights decisions by the Supreme Court. He apparently hadn't read them, and my recollection is that he didn't seem to have heard of them.

UPDATE (10/12): More spin on the story in the Washington Post.

UPDATE (10/12): The Post's articles online often have a "who's blogging?" box. Look at this screenshot and tell me who doesn't belong. You get three guesses and the first two don't count.