Monday, October 24, 2005


Document dispute snags Miers nomination - The Changing Court

Last week I wrote about the Charles Krauthammer strategy for bringing the Miers debacle to an end. And guess what? It looks like I wasn't the only one to notice.

Yesterday on the Sunday talkers Senators from both parties called for documents from Harriet's time as White House counsel, a request that they just know the Bushies will deny. Besides making hypocrites of the Republicans who wouldn't release memos from the Reagan years but now have no problem requesting documents that could reveal the inner workings of the current administration, this request puts the nomination in an interesting position, as Tom Curry notes:
Bush's statement [refusing to release the requested documents] sets up a standoff that could sink the Miers nomination — because senators won't be able to determine on what issues Miers worked and thus won't be able to figure out on what future cases Miers would need to disqualify herself, if she wins confirmation to the high court.
How far will Bush let this go? And who will he nominate next if he and Harriet finally have the quiet conversation they should have had weeks ago? Senator George Allen mentioned yesterday that he'd have preferred Janice Rogers Brown, Harvie Wilkinson, Michael Luttig, or Karen Williams--and his fellow Republicans likely have plenty more suggestions. Will Bush feel compelled to find another woman, or will he give his base the finger for hurting the feelings of his work wife and nominate Gonzales? We could find out sooner rather than later; Miers looks about as doomed as Scooter Libby right now...[update: Mickey Kaus points out that the rationale being used to scuttle the Miers nomination, executive privilege, will extend to Gonzales as well, meaning he won't be her replacement. Meanwhile, Slate's newly-inaugurated Miers-o-Meter gives her nomination a 75% chance of success. I beg to differ...]

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