An Hruska Moment in the Debate Over Harriet Miers?





Harriet Miers's defenders have said she does not have to be a constitutional scholar to sit on the court, a sentiment that Dan Coats, the former Republican senator who has been asked by the White House to shepherd Ms. Miers through the Senate confirmation process, reiterated Friday, his first full day on the job.

"If great intellectual powerhouse is a qualification to be a member of the court and represent the American people and the wishes of the American people and to interpret the Constitution, then I think we have a court so skewed on the intellectual side that we may not be getting representation of America as a whole," Mr. Coats said in a CNN interview.

Mr. Specter, asked about that remark, laughed and wondered if it was "another Hruska quote" - a reference to an oft-quoted comment by the late Roman Hruska, a Republican senator from Nebraska, who defended G. Harrold Carswell, a Supreme Court nominee who was rejected by the Senate. "Even if he is mediocre," Mr. Hruska said, "there are a lot of mediocre judges and people and lawyers. They are entitled to a little representation, aren't they, and a little chance?"

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