"[A]ccording to press reports, she did not win a reputation as a forceful conservative on issues such as the administration's position on stem cell research or affirmative action."
Yoo is referring here to the case of Grutter v. Bollinger, a challenge to the constitutionality of preferential treatment for minorities in education. Many in the administration wanted to take a strong stand in favor of color-blindness. In the end, the administration faltered and argued that racial preferences are okay, up to a point. It is hard to imagine a more central issue to modern legal conservatives. Where was Miers? On the wrong side.
Inside the White House, Miers was best known, not as a conservative, not as a legal thinker, but as a petty bureaucrat.
When Beldar tells you that he knows people in Texas who know Miers, remember that Frum and other former White House people know her, too. I'm unsure why distant memories from a trial judge who had her in his court should be valued over the observations of people who worked with her very recently.
Here is Frum's devastating conclusion:
Some NRO readers have challenged me: Why should we trust you when you say that Miers is not qualified rather than trust the president when he says she is?
My answer is: Don't trust me. Trust your own eyes. The woman is 61 years old, a lawyer for more than three decades. Can you see any instance in this long life and career where Miers ever took a risk on behalf of conservative principle? Can you see any indication of intellectual excellence? Did she ever do anything brave, anything that took backbone? Did anyone before this week ever describe her as oustanding in any way at all?
If the answers to these questions is No, as it is, then you have to ask yourself: Why is a Republican president bypassing so many dozens of superb legal conservatives to choose Harriet Miers for the highest court in the land?