Sunday, October 16, 2005

On race, gender, and nominating unqualified Supreme Court justices

George H. W. Bush nominated Clarence Thomas to the Supreme Court. Thomas, despite being a judge, was considered totally unqualified by his peers. Conservatives did not object to his nomination.

George W. Bush has nominated Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court, and many conservatives are objecting loudly.

Is the Miers nomination easier to object to because Miers has never been a judge, or is it easier to object to because Miers is a woman and Thomas is African American? Conservatives (and liberals, for that matter) often do a dance around criticizing African American appointees and officials, but they appear to have few qualms about criticizing women.

The same conservatives who did not publicly object to Thomas's nomination, despite his lack of qualifications, also remained silent when Senator John Danforth, an Episcopal priest, created (he later admitted it) a campaign of lies to discredit Dr. Anita Hill. Danforth, a liar and a character assassin, was later awarded with several prestigious appointments, and no one in Congress or the media objected.

Will the current Bush administration resort to similar tactics if the Miers nomination runs into a lot of trouble? The Thomas confirmation is proof that they can.


Yeah, and Thomas' nomination was shrouded by Hill's accusations. End result? Thomas in, Hill nothin’ but a lying woman. Another woman scorned and cast aside. Pattern?

By Blogger BlondebutBright, at 5:59 PM  

Conservatives object to Meirs because they didn't think she was conservative enough. They didn't didn't object to Thomas because his extreme conservatism was obvious to everyone.

Judicial beliefs are the main focus of conservatives. Qualifications, race, and gender are far less significant factors.

By Blogger Julian, at 10:27 PM  

True, but many conservatives are objecting because of her lack of qualifications; those are the ones to whom I refer.

By Blogger Diane, at 10:32 PM  

The first thing I noticed when O'Connor announced that she would step down was the chorus from the right arguing that Bush did not need to appoint a woman. Miers being a woman is probably not the only reason the right objects, but is certainly the main reason.

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