HARRIET MIERS OUTSHINES BORK: Unlike the Patron Saint of Originalism, Miers Will Defend Our Freedom

by Richard Poe
Tuesday, October 4, 2005

6:02 pm Eastern Time

Judge Robert H. Bork has come to represent in many conservative minds the gold standard of legal sagacity against which provincial upstarts such as Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers must be weighed. In truth, however, Bork provides a poor example of conservative jurisprudence. Even as simple a phrase as, “the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed” has long confounded Judge Bork. Harriet Miers suffers no such confusion.

Following a July 1, 1992 incident in which a crazed gunman slew two lawyers and two judges in a Texas courtroom, Miers wrote in the Texas Lawyer, “How does a free society prevent a man from entering a courtroom and opening fire?” (hat tip, David Kopel)

The very liberties we hold dear, such as, “access to public places, the right to bear arms and freedom from constant surveillance” make such crimes possible, noted Miers. Yet, she concluded, “We are not willing to sacrifice these rights because of the acts of maniacs.”

By contrast, Robert Bork dismisses the Second Amendment as a useless relic of bygone days. In his 1996 book Slouching Towards Gomorrah he writes, “The Supreme Court has consistently ruled that there is no individual right to own a firearm” – a statement which is demonstrably untrue. Bork also writes:

“The Second Amendment was designed to allow states to defend themselves against a possibly tyrannical national government. Now that the federal government has stealth bombers and nuclear weapons, it is hard to imagine what people would need to keep in the garage to serve that purpose.”

Perhaps if Judge Bork had found himself besieged by gangs in post-Katrina New Orleans, he might have gained a healthy appreciation for the utility of SKS rifles and AR-15s in modern life. How much more would he have appreciated such hardware, had he found himself surveying the smoking ruins of an American city flattened by nuclear terror attack, devoid of police and swarming with brigands.

But Judge Bork is one of those men who cannot “imagine” what he has not personally experienced. And so the “brilliant” jurist discarded James Madison’s handiwork as casually as he would a soiled Kleenex.

If this is brilliance, how exactly should we define stupidity?

In today’s American Thinker, Thomas Lifson exposes the snobbery which underlies so many conservative denunciations of Harriet Miers. He writes:

“Thus we hear conservatives sniffing that a Southern Methodist University legal education is just too non-Ivy League, adopting a characteristic trope of blue state elitists. We hear conservatives bemoaning a lack of judicial experience, and not a single law review article in the last decade as evidence of a second rate mind.”

The outrage certain conservative pundits have displayed in the face of President Bush’s decision to elevate Harriet Miers over their Ivy League classmates may be understandable.  But it is not helpful. Nor is it admirable.

by Richard Poe
October 4, 2005 06:02 PM ET

Cross-posted from 10.04.05


54 Responses to “HARRIET MIERS OUTSHINES BORK: Unlike the Patron Saint of Originalism, Miers Will Defend Our Freedom”


Check out what others are saying about this post...
  1. Richard Poe says:

    RedBeard writes: “I’m looking forward to Louis Freeh’s new book.”

    Funny, I tried to buy Freeh’s book through last night, and could not find it through the Amazon search engine.

    Usually Amazon takes pre-orders weeks in advance of a book’s release.

  2. Rightminded says:

    Let the games begin!

    If your looking for something to abort, abort yourself!

    We pro-lifers are coming at you infanticide-kooks like never before!

    And guess what?

    The deck is getting stacked against you. The Democrats own studies are telling them that they must change their stance on infaticide to have any hope of being competitive with Republicans.


  3. The Shadow Party » Blog Archive » HARRIET MIERS OUTSHINES BORK says:

    […] Cross-posted from of 10/4/05. […]

  4. » Blog Archive » HARRIET MIERS OUTSHINES BORK: Unlike the Patron Saint of Originalism, Miers Will Defend Our Freedom says:

    […] Cross-posted from 10.04.05 […]

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