Saturday, October 29, 2005

The Left's Double Standard on Harriet Miers

John Podesta, formerly a chief of staff to Bill Clinton and now a member of the Left's traveling pack of attack dogs (same thing), writes at Think Progress:

Harriet Miers' nomination fell victim to a right-wing double standard.

In his confirmation hearing, John Roberts affirmed the right to privacy, agreed with the conclusion of Griswold, and told the Judiciary Committee that he considered Roe v. Wade "“settled as a precedent."”

There is much in Harriet Miers'’ record to suggest she fell to the right of Roberts’ on the question of abortion rights. She does not consider Griswold settled law and had a record of supporting anti-choice causes.

John Roberts was enthusiastically embraced by right-wing conservatives eager to overturn Roe v. Wade. Harriet Miers was vilified by the exact same people.

Harriet Miers'’ nomination has always been controversial, but it was not until comments from a 1993 speech surfaced where she said she believed in "“self-determination" that Miers was presumably forced to withdraw.

It is clear that, absent an unambiguous pledge to overturn Roe, the right holds women nominees to a different standard. They do it because they fear a woman justice will feel empathy towards other women making the agonizing choice of whether to have an abortion. They fear that a woman justice would not be willing to use criminal sanctions to regulate other women's decisions.

No nominee should be subject to a litmus test, especially one that discriminates based on gender.

Podesta's hypocrisy knows no bounds. Imagine the impossible: Podesta on the talk-show circuit defending Harriet Miers's nomination because of her seemingly inconsistent views about abortion and her disdain for Griswold v. Connecticut.

The double standard on display is that of the Left, which prefers the litmus test of "diversity" to the litmus test of competence. Most conservatives who were outraged about Miers were outraged long before Miers's ramblings about "self determination" came to light. And they were outraged because of Miers's evident faults: little or no relevant legal experience, a muddled mind. In sum, conservatives put quality above diversity.

Such a concept would never cross the mind of a John Podesta, whose lack of interest in Miers's judicial qualifications is exceeded only by his cynical delight in conservative-bashing.

(Thanks to SCOTUSblog for the pointer.)