The Everyman Supreme Court Pick

The motives assigned to George W. Bush for picking Harriet Miers to be an Associate Justice of the US Supreme Court have covered the waterfront:  from the conventional analysis that he is ducking a fight with Senate Democrats, to the quick and dirty charge of cronyism, to the more bizarre notion that he suffers from the same lead poisoning and raw cynicsm that prompted the Roman Emperor Caligula  to appoint Incitatus, his horse, as a Roman consul.

Some conservative opinion—makers and intellectuals, split among the intimidation and cronyism camps, and with considerable justification, feel betrayed by a president whom they have unconditionally loved and defended. They have remained faithful amongst uninterrupted mortar rounds of scorn, ridicule, and accusations of ineptitude and corruption, launched by media and opposition party luminaries and hacks alike, from the very moment that the Supreme Court opinion Bush v Gore was published in December 2000.  They have grown weary of a just war, poorly managed, federal spending out of control and accompanied by unnecessary compromises with Senate Democrats, and the ongoing immigration fiasco. All this has been made worse by flatfooted White House communications efforts. That, and more, would be forgiven if W would name another Antonin Scalia to the High Court.

Despite his inherited circumstances of privilege and modest wealth, George W has always seemed to be one of us.  Everyman, the late medieval allegorical morality play may typify George W. Bush more than any other analogy at this moment and give us the best insight into his choice of Harriet Miers.  Summoned by Death on a journey to meet God to account for his life, Everyman asks his many friends including worldly goods, beauty and knowledge to accompany him on his trip; all refuse except for good deeds.

In many respects, George W. Bush's life itself has been a morality play. He has been a man of action with high moral fiber, and with simple ideals. Few, even his closest friends, would describe him as a man of ideas.  He is a man of faith and good works. He has seen as many dead ends and disappointments as triumphs.  Exactly like Everyman, escorted only by good deeds, whom God eventually welcomes into the Kingdom of Heaven.

Harriet Miers is one among millions of Americans—a good citizen, morally upright, hard working,  known for her good works and civic leadership, rather than her ideas. So she is professionally undistinguished beyond Texas legal circles and didn't graduate from a top five law school as editor of its law review. So she has neither presided over a courtroom nor argued before the US Supreme Court. What's wrong with that? Where in the US Constitution does it say that Supreme Court justices must be lights out brilliant scholars of jurisprudence? Of course it doesn't say that anywhere. In fact there aren't any qualifications of any kind enumerated anyplace in the Founders' document.  Moreover, Justices don't even have to be lawyers. Why can't a Supreme Court Justice be one of us?

One of the many self—made plagues affecting American politics and governance is that lawyers, the only self—annointed aristocratic class in America, possess the persistent hubris that they alone are smarter, more brilliant and more profound than everyone else. The most egregious of the lot are judges, most of whom are appointed for life, ascendant above the elected legislatures, governors and presidents, no longer seeing themselves  as co—equal partners among three branches, but first among equals.

It is the lawyering class, after all, especially of the worldly goods, beauty and knowledge variety who have authored statues, regulations, interpretations and opinions illogical and nonsensical as much as they are unreadable. Sentencing guidelines, treasury and tax regulations, campaign finance laws, abortion rulings, First Amendment interpretations about church and state and private property rights, same sex marriage rulings, environmental protection laws and opinions —are just a few of the lawyers' recent notorious work products that offend the good sense of everyday American voters, taxpayers and citizens.

Many US presidents have been unable to successfully account for their tenures. Not George W. Bush.  He can account for his presidency with good deeds, ranging from tax cuts to prosecuting the war against terror.  Enough of worldly goods, beauty and knowledge.  John Roberts filled that quota.  It is time to bring on one of us to the high court.  As one of us, Harriet Miers, the allegorical pick —— good deeds ——  is a good choice. 

Geoffrey P. Hunt is an executive of a multinational electrical and electronics manufacturing company

The motives assigned to George W. Bush for picking Harriet Miers to be an Associate Justice of the US Supreme Court have covered the waterfront:  from the conventional analysis that he is ducking a fight with Senate Democrats, to the quick and dirty charge of cronyism, to the more bizarre notion that he suffers from the same lead poisoning and raw cynicsm that prompted the Roman Emperor Caligula  to appoint Incitatus, his horse, as a Roman consul.

Some conservative opinion—makers and intellectuals, split among the intimidation and cronyism camps, and with considerable justification, feel betrayed by a president whom they have unconditionally loved and defended. They have remained faithful amongst uninterrupted mortar rounds of scorn, ridicule, and accusations of ineptitude and corruption, launched by media and opposition party luminaries and hacks alike, from the very moment that the Supreme Court opinion Bush v Gore was published in December 2000.  They have grown weary of a just war, poorly managed, federal spending out of control and accompanied by unnecessary compromises with Senate Democrats, and the ongoing immigration fiasco. All this has been made worse by flatfooted White House communications efforts. That, and more, would be forgiven if W would name another Antonin Scalia to the High Court.

Despite his inherited circumstances of privilege and modest wealth, George W has always seemed to be one of us.  Everyman, the late medieval allegorical morality play may typify George W. Bush more than any other analogy at this moment and give us the best insight into his choice of Harriet Miers.  Summoned by Death on a journey to meet God to account for his life, Everyman asks his many friends including worldly goods, beauty and knowledge to accompany him on his trip; all refuse except for good deeds.

In many respects, George W. Bush's life itself has been a morality play. He has been a man of action with high moral fiber, and with simple ideals. Few, even his closest friends, would describe him as a man of ideas.  He is a man of faith and good works. He has seen as many dead ends and disappointments as triumphs.  Exactly like Everyman, escorted only by good deeds, whom God eventually welcomes into the Kingdom of Heaven.

Harriet Miers is one among millions of Americans—a good citizen, morally upright, hard working,  known for her good works and civic leadership, rather than her ideas. So she is professionally undistinguished beyond Texas legal circles and didn't graduate from a top five law school as editor of its law review. So she has neither presided over a courtroom nor argued before the US Supreme Court. What's wrong with that? Where in the US Constitution does it say that Supreme Court justices must be lights out brilliant scholars of jurisprudence? Of course it doesn't say that anywhere. In fact there aren't any qualifications of any kind enumerated anyplace in the Founders' document.  Moreover, Justices don't even have to be lawyers. Why can't a Supreme Court Justice be one of us?

One of the many self—made plagues affecting American politics and governance is that lawyers, the only self—annointed aristocratic class in America, possess the persistent hubris that they alone are smarter, more brilliant and more profound than everyone else. The most egregious of the lot are judges, most of whom are appointed for life, ascendant above the elected legislatures, governors and presidents, no longer seeing themselves  as co—equal partners among three branches, but first among equals.

It is the lawyering class, after all, especially of the worldly goods, beauty and knowledge variety who have authored statues, regulations, interpretations and opinions illogical and nonsensical as much as they are unreadable. Sentencing guidelines, treasury and tax regulations, campaign finance laws, abortion rulings, First Amendment interpretations about church and state and private property rights, same sex marriage rulings, environmental protection laws and opinions —are just a few of the lawyers' recent notorious work products that offend the good sense of everyday American voters, taxpayers and citizens.

Many US presidents have been unable to successfully account for their tenures. Not George W. Bush.  He can account for his presidency with good deeds, ranging from tax cuts to prosecuting the war against terror.  Enough of worldly goods, beauty and knowledge.  John Roberts filled that quota.  It is time to bring on one of us to the high court.  As one of us, Harriet Miers, the allegorical pick —— good deeds ——  is a good choice. 

Geoffrey P. Hunt is an executive of a multinational electrical and electronics manufacturing company