My initial read on the Miers nomination is that she’s the big business pick. She spent almost three decades as a corporate lawyer, eventually becoming a partner at one of the biggest law firms in Texas. She worked with Karl Rove on Texas tort reform back when Bush was governor. And, as has been reported just about everywhere, she’s tremendously loyal to Bush.
It reads like she’s part of Bush’s Texas business-oriented crowd to me. This is one of the pillars of Bush’s support, alongside the social conservative bunch. Social conservative is perhaps an oversimplification here; I’m not sure I should be putting anti-government types like Grover Norquist alongside Rick Santorum. But close enough for now; they’ve got more in common than either of them do with Dick Cheney. More to the point, it’d have been possible to nominate a Justice who’d satisfy both Norquist and Santorum.
What’s happening, though, is that Bush has decided he’ll give the business guys a seat at the table before he gives the social conservatives a seat at the table. I think Miers is probably as bad a candidate as a social conservative candidate would have been; she looks a bit better cause I was mentally prepared to get a social conservative strict constructionalist. But I’d be very surprised if she rules against big business often.
This is perhaps unfair of me. On the other hand, it’s difficult to believe that a legal career in which she defended a lot of corporate interests indicates that she didn’t enjoy it to some degree. Which is OK — everyone needs legal defense, even guilty people, and corporations aren’t always guilty. Not sure the Supreme Court needs that kind of inclination, though.
Mostly I’m enjoying watching the fissure between big business and social conservatives. This has been coming ever since Bush didn’t come down hard on the Schiavo case. This is just sort of the final evidence that Bush is not a social conservative at heart.