Earlier today, President Bush stood with former law clerks of Judge Samuel Alito to demand that the Senate give his Supreme Court nominee an up-or-down vote. Bush said of his current nominee:
There’s no doubt about Judge Alito’s qualifications, his intellect, or his complete dedication to our Constitution and laws. He is exactly the kind of person Americans want on the Supreme Court. “¦ And I call on the United States Senate to put partisanship aside and give Judge Alito the up or down vote he deserves and to confirm him as the next associate justice of the Supreme Court.
Oh, but how quickly he forgets. Wasn’t there another Supreme Court nominee who met these same qualifications but was refused an up-or-down vote? On October 3, 2005, here’s what Bush said about then-nominee Harriet Miers:
I believe that senators of both parties will find that Harriet Miers’ talent, experience and judicial philosophy make her a superb choice to safeguard the constitutional liberties and equality of all Americans. “¦ I’ve sought to find an American of grace, judgment and unwavering devotion to the Constitution and laws of our country. Harriet Miers is just such a person.
Both Miers and Alito have been billed by the President as having the necessary qualifications, intellect, and judicial philosophy for the job. But Harriet Miers never got an up-or-down vote because the right-wing stopped her. The Miers example makes at least two things clear: 1) there’s nothing wrong with opposing a nominee with whom you fundamentally disagree, and 2) Bush does not have the record to be making demands of the Senate.