Thursday, October 20, 2005

"Inadequate," "insufficient," "insulting"

So said Arlen Specter and Patrick Leahy yesterday as reported in the NYT:
WASHINGTON, Oct. 19 - The Supreme Court nomination of Harriet E. Miers suffered another setback on Wednesday when the Republican and Democratic leaders of the Senate Judiciary Committee asked her to resubmit parts of her judicial questionnaire, saying various members had found her responses "inadequate," "insufficient" and "insulting."
Oh, and "chaotic" as well, as per the Washington Post:
"I think it's been a chaotic process, very candidly, as to what has happened, because of all of the conference calls and all of the discussions, which are alleged in the back room," Specter said. "We're looking into them."
At first it was just James Dobson. But it appears that Mier and her inept handlers in the White House have been more forthcoming with the right wing than with the Senate Judiciary Committee. Behind the political chaos and the perfunctory responses to the Judiciary Committee, lies a more fundamental question: Does Harriet Miers have a working understanding of Constitutional law?
In describing one matter on the Dallas City Council, Miers referred to "the proportional representation requirement of the Equal Protection Clause" as it relates to the Voting Rights Act.
"There is no proportional representation requirement in the Equal Protection Clause," said Cass R. Sunstein, a constitutional law professor at the University of Chicago. He and several other scholars said it appeared that Miers was confusing proportional representation -- which typically deals with ethnic groups having members on elected bodies -- with the one-man, one-vote Supreme Court ruling that requires, for example, legislative districts to have equal populations.
I'm certainly no legal scholar, but even I know that the Constitution does not include anything close to proportional representation. Is it possible that behind the nominee's murky and imprecise prose style lies an equally murky and imprecise thought process?


Blogger Tom Noyes said...

Actually, Specter has talked about calling the Reverend SpongeDob to hear what he was told. If the wingnuts are being told more than the Senate Judiciary Committee, then all hell will break loose.

12:18 PM, October 20, 2005  

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