Editorial Roundup for Thursday — October 06, 2005

• Bush’s Supreme Court nominations


Bush’s Supreme Court nominations

The Blade, Toledo, Ohio, Oct.

The Supreme Court has a new chief justice, John G. Roberts, Jr., whose tenure may well change the philosophical direction of the court. But his first order of business ought to be about breaking with the past in a practical way: He ought to urge his fellow justices to accept televising the court’s proceedings.

Chief Justice Roberts was asked about this in his confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee. … He indicated that he had an open mind about allowing cameras but would need to consult with his colleagues. …

In the wake of controversial decisions, the whole federal judiciary – and no part more so than the Supreme Court – has been under attack and scrutiny, some of it directed by unconscionable politicians. … The least helpful thing to do in these times is to keep out a modern means of communication that could provide the American public with a much-needed civics lesson. …

The U.S. Judicial Conference already allows cameras in appeals courts, but each federal circuit must decide for itself. A couple of jurisdictions have taken advantage of this opportunity. Others might take their lead from the Supreme Court if it were to allow cameras. …


The Leaf-Chronicle, Clarksville, Tenn., Oct.

President Bush demonstrated Monday that he still has some tricks up his sleeve. He went with a Supreme Court pick that virtually no one was expecting.

White House Counsel Harriet Miers has no judicial experience, and which Bush mentioned in his appointment announcement. He reflected on something the late Chief Justice William Rehnquist had written about drawing from a wide diversity of professional backgrounds.

In Miers, 60, Bush is going with an old friend from Texas. She was the first woman to serve as president of the Texas State Bar and the Dallas Bar Association. She also was Bush’s personal lawyer in Texas and served a six-year term on the Texas Lottery Commission.

Because she has no judicial record to endlessly pick apart, Democrats will have trouble in trying to block her nomination. They will, undoubtedly, attempt to get copies of opinions she’s written for the president, and the White House will cite executive privilege. And so the nomination dance will go.

On the conservative side, some were hoping for a nominee with a clearer record on the social issues — such as abortion — that are their primary concerns. Still, their reaction to the nomination was positive.

Assuming the nomination is approved, Miers and new Chief Justice John Roberts could swing the court to the right. That, of course, remains speculation for now. But one thing is certain, with these two crucial picks, the influence of George W. Bush will be felt for years, long after he has left office.

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