Why Miers? Think Business!

Let our journalists help you make sense of the noise: Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter and get a recap of news that matters.


Ultimately, I think Jack Balkin gets the Harriet Miers pick right. By historical standards, she’s not particularly “unqualified” or crony-tastic—Eugene Volokh made a similar point yesterday, noting that corporate lawyers with presidential connections very often get put on the court. And she’ll help deliver exactly what Bush’s real base—namely, business interests, not the religious right or libertarian bloggers—wants:

[W]hat, exactly, does business want? Overturning the New Deal? The Constitution in Exile? The return of God to the public schools? The end of affirmative action? Outlawing abortion once and for all? Squashing gays and lesbians underfoot? None of these things. What business wants is stability, comfort, predictability, and an agile, productive, submissive and demobilized population. It wants a powerful executive that can protect America’s interests abroad. It wants a Congress freed from federal judicial oversight that is able to dish out the pork, jiggle the tax code and deregulate the economy according to its ever shifting concerns and interests. And it wants a Supreme Court that will give a pro-business President and a pro-business Congress a free hand, a Court that will protect the rights of employers over employees, advertisers over consumer groups, and corporations over environmentalists.

In that sense, she’ll be a perfect replacement for O’Connor, who was a very similar type of business-friendly, don’t-rock-the-boat type of judge. (And hey, back in July didn’t someone predict that just this very thing would happen?) Now I’m also guessing that Miers’ presumable willingness to help expand presidential wartime powers was a factor, but the business angle seems like the simplest and easiest explanation, and everything else is probably just overthinking it.

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest