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Why Conservatives Aren't Happy with Harriet

Andrew Cline:

There is a difference between being politically conservative and being legally conservative. A political conservative might believe in limiting government and maintaining social traditions, but few conservatives would argue that those beliefs qualify one for a seat on the Supreme Court. Unlike liberals, who want the court to be another branch of representative government, conservatives want the court to fulfill its traditional role as an applier -- not interpreter -- of the Constitution. Simply voting for Ronald Reagan does not qualify a person to become one of only nine Americans entrusted with the Constitution's care.

If conservatives thought as liberals do, they would not be so unhappy with the Miers nomination. But conservatives don't want a Supreme Court justice to "represent" them on the courts. They don't conceive of the judiciary that way. The Supreme Court's nine seats are not to be divided up according to political, racial, sexual or any other representative criteria. They are to be given to the nine Americans most capable of protecting the Constitution from political attack. Harriet Miers is not on that list.

In other words, it's not enough to trust---we must verify.


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