Liberty Counsel Does Not Support Bush's Selection For Supreme Court

Oct 11, 2005

Orlando, FL – Today, Liberty Counsel announced that it does not support President George W. Bush’s nomination of Harriet Miers for the United States Supreme Court. Liberty Counsel also calls on President Bush to withdraw the nomination and to keep his campaign promise that he would appoint Justices like Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas. Liberty Counsel is a nationwide public interest litigation, education and policy organization that specializes in constitutional law.

Mathew D. Staver, President and General Counsel of Liberty Counsel, stated: “I am terribly disappointed with President Bush’s decision to nominate to the Supreme Court someone who operates under the radar. Bush has turned his finest hour into a political debacle that threatens to split his conservative base. The reverberations from his decision to nominate Harriet Miers have political consequences, if not corrected, that will haunt the Republican Party for some time.”

Staver said that during the 2000 presidential election, everyone knew the real battle was over who would appoint the next Supreme Court Justice. “I didn’t litigate nonstop for five weeks for a stealth nomination. Nor did African-Americans and Hispanics jump party lines to join a record number of evangelicals and others in 2004 to support this President for a nomination where our only assurance is ‘Trust me.’ I’m not a gambling man, and I’m not about to blindly roll the dice on this nomination,” Staver said.

Staver explained that Liberty Counsel does not have anything personally against Harriet Miers. Staver commented, “My opposition has nothing to do with Ms. Miers’ educational background or her lack of judicial experience. Ivy League schools do not make a Supreme Court Justice, nor does judicial or academic experience. But a qualified nominee must have a judicial philosophy. Mere recitation of words like ‘strict constructionist’ is not sufficient. The President can’t expect a nominee to begin thinking about judicial philosophy after appointment to the High Court. Ms. Miers is 60 years of age, and yet we have no clue from her speeches or writings about her judicial philosophy. If she hasn’t developed a consistent judicial philosophy by now, then how can the President ask us to blindly trust him? President Bush should keep his campaign promise to appoint Justices like Scalia and Thomas. The only way to remedy a disastrous decision is to redo it.”

Staver points out that Liberty Counsel’s opposition is twofold: “I oppose this nomination for two reasons. First, the President had a number of highly qualified candidates with proven track records and well-developed judicial philosophies. He passed over them and chose an invisible nominee. Second, selecting a nominee who has held her views in silence for 60 years sends a wrong message to conservatives – if you want to be appointed to the federal bench, you should keep your views to yourself. That’s a terrible message to send to our future leaders.”

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