“In its eagerness to regain faltering conservative support for the Miers nomination, the White House has suggested that her religion and her personal views on abortion be treated as relevant information. Indeed, since there is so little else to recommend Miers, the White House is arguing that Miers’ religion and personal views on abortion be treated as the most relevant information.
But if this information is relevant for Miers, it is relevant to all judges. Which would mean, if this unwise nomination goes forward, that from now on, every Catholic nominee, every Evangelical nominee can legitimatly be quizzed about their faith and their personal views of morality. And it won’t be just abortion that will be fair game. They can in that case be expected to be asked about their view of homosexuality, their attitudes toward prayer, and on and on.
With every passing day, this nomination is laying down precedents that conservatives will regret for the next half century. Conservatives have put themselves on record saying that brains don’t matter on the Supreme Court, but religion does; that judges should not be evaluated on the basis of their knowledge of constitutional law, but can be evaluated according to whether their position on abortion accords with that of the current majority in the US Senate.
This is reckless and self-destructive folly. The arguments used today to put Miers on the Court will be gleefully exploited by Democrats tomorrow to keep religious Catholics and Evangelicals off.
In its effort to carry this nomination past an unwilling Senate and an increasingly skeptical country, the Bush White House is surrendering principles conservatives have fought courageously to defend and offering concessions that conservatives will rue for years and decades to come”. — David Frum