The blogger conference call with Ken Mehlman

I was part of a conference call today, organized by Patrick Ruffini, with Ken Mehlman, the Chairman of the RNC addressing and then taking questions from a group of bloggers. Pressing business prevented me from writing up my notes of the call until now, but other the bloggers have beaten me to the punch in posting their reactions to the discussion. They include Mark Coffey, Patrick Hynes, Lorie ByrdErick Erickson and Eric Pfeiffer.

It was, as others noted, an on—message, support—the—nominee affair, which is not exactly unexpected at such an occasion. I was struck by Ken Mehlman's emphasis on the character of Ms. Meirs. It was the first factor he mentioned as a qualification of hers for the job, followed by her judicial philosophy in the number two spot. He made the sensible point that it is her strong character which will enable her to resist the all—too—familiar pressure to drift leftward in office — the famous 'Greenhouse Effect' that impels conservative Justices to 'grow in office' and become liberal. Her judicial philosophy, he assured us, will emerge in the upcoming hearings, and skeptics will come to understand what the President already knows. He stated that this president knows this nominee better than any president has ever known any nominee to the Court.

When you think about it, that is a startling point. As far as I know, it is true, though I am no historian of the Court and its appointees.

He also stressed that her hands—on, real life experience in the White House with the global war on terror will prove extremely important, in light of attempts by the judiciary to micro—manage the Guantanamo Bay detention of captured terrorists. He conceded that there may be a few cases in which she might recuse herself in the near future, but stated that this was a 'generational battle' and in the long run, her perspective on the Court will be vital to the GWOT.

I was already persuaded going into the call that, pending the data we will get in her testimony in the Judiciary Committee hearings, there is every reason to expect that the President has been faithful to his campaign pledge to appoint Justices in the mould of Scalia and Thomas. And I thought that the emphasis on the strong character of Harriet Miers was appropriate, since what I want most of all is a an originalist Justice who will have immunity from the Greenhouse Effect.

When I asked how the nominee was bearing up under the onslaught of criticism from my side of the fence, Ken stated that as of Friday, when last he saw her, she was just fine. She doesn't overly concern herself with criticism or hostility. That struck me as consistent with the description of her strong character we heard earlier.

I continue to think the signs are good, and that the confirmation hearings will be interesting

Thomas Lifson   10 12 05

I was part of a conference call today, organized by Patrick Ruffini, with Ken Mehlman, the Chairman of the RNC addressing and then taking questions from a group of bloggers. Pressing business prevented me from writing up my notes of the call until now, but other the bloggers have beaten me to the punch in posting their reactions to the discussion. They include Mark Coffey, Patrick Hynes, Lorie ByrdErick Erickson and Eric Pfeiffer.

It was, as others noted, an on—message, support—the—nominee affair, which is not exactly unexpected at such an occasion. I was struck by Ken Mehlman's emphasis on the character of Ms. Meirs. It was the first factor he mentioned as a qualification of hers for the job, followed by her judicial philosophy in the number two spot. He made the sensible point that it is her strong character which will enable her to resist the all—too—familiar pressure to drift leftward in office — the famous 'Greenhouse Effect' that impels conservative Justices to 'grow in office' and become liberal. Her judicial philosophy, he assured us, will emerge in the upcoming hearings, and skeptics will come to understand what the President already knows. He stated that this president knows this nominee better than any president has ever known any nominee to the Court.

When you think about it, that is a startling point. As far as I know, it is true, though I am no historian of the Court and its appointees.

He also stressed that her hands—on, real life experience in the White House with the global war on terror will prove extremely important, in light of attempts by the judiciary to micro—manage the Guantanamo Bay detention of captured terrorists. He conceded that there may be a few cases in which she might recuse herself in the near future, but stated that this was a 'generational battle' and in the long run, her perspective on the Court will be vital to the GWOT.

I was already persuaded going into the call that, pending the data we will get in her testimony in the Judiciary Committee hearings, there is every reason to expect that the President has been faithful to his campaign pledge to appoint Justices in the mould of Scalia and Thomas. And I thought that the emphasis on the strong character of Harriet Miers was appropriate, since what I want most of all is a an originalist Justice who will have immunity from the Greenhouse Effect.

When I asked how the nominee was bearing up under the onslaught of criticism from my side of the fence, Ken stated that as of Friday, when last he saw her, she was just fine. She doesn't overly concern herself with criticism or hostility. That struck me as consistent with the description of her strong character we heard earlier.

I continue to think the signs are good, and that the confirmation hearings will be interesting

Thomas Lifson   10 12 05