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Saturday, October 22, 2005

Standing, or sitting, up to be counted

The blog The Truth Laid Bear is asking bloggers who have a position on the Miers nomination to state it. OK, here it is: I oppose the Miers nomination. I will not lose night after night of sleep if she's confirmed -- at least, not unless/until she issues shallow or muddily written opinions in a constitutional area I care about. Which could happen, because she appears to be an inconsistent or even mediocre writer. Which is one straw too many, for me. I had earlier suggested that it might be good to have a practicing lawyer on the Court, who would realize the importance of clearly conceived and written opinions. She does not seem like the lawyer to advance that agenda. I am also concerned about what would happen re my own constitutional hobby-horse, concerning when state courts can issue grandparent visitation orders. (These orders override the judgment of fit custodial parents about who should associate with, influence, supervise and/or care for their children. Troxel v. Granville, 530 U.S. 57 (2000), put the brakes on to some extent.) Miers is conspicuously disclaiming having endorsed either Griswold v. Connecticut, one of the first right-to-privacy cases, or Meyer v. Nebraska, one of the first cases establishing the fundamental right of parents to decide how to raise their children. That does not bode well for her position on the existence on constitutional limits on state interference with parental decision-making.

There are, I concede, some problems with the notion of "substantive due process" (and if you want me to sum up those problems, ask me in the comments) -- but one can rely on stare decisis as a basis for treating that concept as a done deal, or one can explore bases (e.g. the Ninth Amendment) for the same principles.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I have qualms (the proportional representation gaff in particular) but still think she should be given a chance to appear before the Judiciary Committee. Given the extent to which the conservative-libertarian Bush supporters have gone after Miers, I think she's going to have to put on a stellar performance to get confirmed. Anything less and she's toast.