To serve in Congress, or even as president, there is no requirement for scholarship and brilliance. For good reason. It is not needed. It can even be a hindrance, as we learned from our experience with Woodrow Wilson, the most intellectually accomplished president of the 20th century and also the worst.
But constitutional jurisprudence is different. It is, by definition, an exercise of intellect steeped in scholarship. Otherwise it is nothing but raw politics. And is it not the conservative complaint that liberals have abused the courts by having them exercise raw super-legislative power, the most egregious example of which is the court's most intellectually bankrupt ruling, Roe v. Wade ?
Miers will surely shine in her Judiciary Committee hearings, but that is because expectations have been set so low. If she can give a fairly good facsimile of John Roberts's testimony, she'll be considered a surprisingly good witness. But what does she bring to the bench?
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