Hamilton warned us against the Miers nomination

Randy Barnett, quoted at ParaPundit, brings forward this amazingly prescient passage from Federalist No. 76 by Alexander Hamilton. So exact is its portrayal that it is as though, 218 years ago, Hamilton looked into a crystal ball and saw the dull, dutiful visage of Harriet Miers, elevated by her long-time law client to the Supreme Court of the United States. The discussion following the quote is also worth reading.

To what purpose then require the co-operation of the Senate [in approving justices to the Supreme Court]? I answer, that the necessity of their concurrence would have a powerful, though, in general, a silent operation. It would be an excellent check upon a spirit of favoritism in the President, and would tend greatly to prevent the appointment of unfit characters from State prejudice, from family connection, from personal attachment, or from a view to popularity… . He would be both ashamed and afraid to bring forward, for the most distinguished or lucrative stations, candidates who had no other merit than that of coming from the same State to which he particularly belonged, or of being in some way or other personally allied to him, or of possessing the necessary insignificance and pliancy to render them the obsequious instruments of his pleasure.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at October 14, 2005 10:35 AM | Send

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