We Have a Nickname

|

Wow. So apparently, upon learning of the Miers nomination, both the National Review folk and I thought immediately of Caligula's fabled desire to appoint his favorite horse to the Roman Senate consul. Since we know Bush is fond of bestowing cute nicknames on his familiars, I think that's enough to suggest we've got the perfect one for prospective-Justice Miers: Incitatus. Or, if she's confirmed, Justice Incitatus.

NEXT: Mrs. Souter

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. It is hard to believe that Bush has become so tone-deaf. His so-called base will hate this pick.

  2. Consul wasn’t the same thing as Senator. More important since there were only two Consuls at any given time.

  3. I’m not sure that Bush will be able to pronounce “Incitatus”

  4. But by the time Caligula considered appointing Incitatus the post of Consul, so important in the days of the Republic, had been stripped of all power – usurped by the Emperor.

    Mind you, Caligula wanted to appoint Incitatus just to show he could and to demonstrate that all the normal aristocratic candidates for the post were no good, powerless nobodies. Hmmm, maybe Dubya has been reading his Suetonius after all.

  5. So apparently, the consenus is that Miers would make a less than mediocre Supreme Court justice.

    The problem is, for a great justice, you have to move every ZIG. Bush is apparently unwilling to do this. I think he set up us the bomb.

  6. The Bush base seems to be getting riled that he didn’t pick someone “hard right,” but Miers seems to be someone Bush himself knows personally, someone with which he may have had a lot of personal conversations. He probably has had her in mind for awhile, and may know a lot of her views that will not be found in paper trails.

  7. Appointing a horse to the SCOTUS is just fine with me. It couldn’t have any less a notion of what’s in the Constitution than any other sitting justice.

  8. I have no beef with the substance of Miers’ views; I have no real clear idea of what those views are. I’d react the same way if I knew she’d vote my preferred way on every case before her: Nominating some apparatchik who’s obviously grossly unqualified for the post is an insult to the Court.

  9. Judge Luttig lashing out at the appointment?

    http://jmluttig.blogspot.com/

  10. Apparatchik … ah, le mot juste.

  11. Julian Sanchez,

    Nominating some apparatchik who’s obviously grossly unqualified for the post is an insult to the Court.

    Not really. Bush is following in the fine tradition of court appointment history.

  12. How is she grossly unqualified for the Court? Any law student who has taken Constitutional Law can write a halfway-decent Supreme Court opinion. Conversely, Warren Burger, a long-time federal judge, was notoriously inept as Chief. I think for once it’s refreshing that someone other than a career bench-sitter has been appointed.

  13. Surely it should be the feminine form, Justice Incitata.

  14. Better to nominate the entire horse than just the hind portion, but membership in the bar seems to be a pre-requisite for nomination.

  15. You know Bush, he’s just going to pick some ultrapartisanpaleorightwingextremist to pack the court! GAHHHH! BUSH BUSH BUSH!!!! Everything bad in the universe was created by BUSH!
    What? He picked an unmarried woman with a history of donating to Democratic candidates? Uhh…shit….uhhh….well……she’s friends with him!! HA! GOTCHA!
    Keep making up scenarios where Bush can’t be right no matter what he does, that will get people to listen.

  16. Julian Sanchez: “Nominating some apparatchik who’s obviously grossly unqualified for the post is an insult to the Court.”

    Seriously?

    I’m not convinced that a majority of the court’s members can read and understand the simple, straightforward language of the Constitution (where’s the evidence?), so I’m not convinced that we’d be worse off if the court were actually comprised of horses; if they voted randomly they’d be right about half the time, and that’s better than the results we’ve been getting from the huma…er, the gubmint lawyers.

  17. “Keep making up scenarios where Bush can’t be right no matter what he does, that will get people to listen.”

    Okay, how ’bout the occupation of Iraq?

  18. Tom Crick-
    You’d need to be a little more specific. I think Bush has done a lot of things right and wrong regarding Iraq. Unfortunately, the debate is never a matter of “the USA is on the right path” vs “here’s a better way to do certain things to make Iraq into a successful democracy”, it always seems to instantly degenerate into “Things are going well” vs “George Bush invented death to kill young Americans so that he could have more oil to put on his cereal (made out of babie’s bones) every morning”.
    I know very little about the new SCOTUS nominee, and don’t yet have an opion on whether or not she is qualified (which itself is a subjective issue). My problem with what I’m hearing right now is that all of these people who were apoplectic about what an extreme partisan right winger Bush was going to appoint, INSTANTANEOUSLY switched their criticisms without giving him one microsecond of credit for not chosing such a person. My biggest disapointment on this has been Andrew Sullivan, who is an imperfect but generally nonpartisan writer. This morning I turn on my computer to see him state that Bush had not done what he had feared, yet began tearing him apart in the same breath. Is all of politics to be a Cardassian court (obscure Trek reference) where the outcome is decided before the trial, and the verdict is always guilty?
    Is there anyone left who can make legitimate and reasonable opposition to things that George Bush does, or must you automatically lose your mind in a vortex of bullshit conspiracy, name calling, and monomaniacal obsessiveness? There may be a lot of great reasons why Miers should not be on the Supreme Court. So far, the thing that seems to be getting the most energy spent on it is that she’s got a history of working with Bush. You mean when looking for a woman (and of course he was only looking for a woman) to fill that slot, he picked someone he’s worked with before? Oh wow. I’m fuckin’ shocked. Throwing around the word “crony” isn’t going to make me care. Have a real argument. For those of you who do, I commend you. For those of you who want to march around with Bushitler signs screaming ” Crony Cheyney Halliburton”, have fun watching Bush always get his way because you make the alternative look like lunacy.

  19. Dave,

    Haven’t you noticed that you keep throwing out the “no one will listen to you” line in situations where the majority of the public disagrees with you?

    This lazy “you’re a Bush hater” response to every dispute with the president is making less and less sense as his presidency swirls around the bowl of history.

  20. Hmm, wanting to see a Bush appointee with some judicial trail so that we may see as to weather or not said judge will pay respect to the constituion (in a position with no future accountability mind you) is lunacy.

    But going along with a president who hasn’t been afraid to appoint his pal’s to government jobs before do the same thing now is sane. Hmmm.

    I do say hmm good sir.

  21. I’m not sure that Bush will be able to pronounce “Incitatus”

    Not to worry. You can always cover it up with that southern drawl. I do believe Incy sounds like a right-proper southern name.

    The fact that the Romans would have pronounced it Inky is irrelevant.

    Dave,

    While I agree with the gist of what you say — that many people now spend Sunday afternoon play Bush Bash rather than putt putt golf — I don’t see that the bashing had properly begun yet ’round these parts.

    You’d have been far more persuasive to let it grow a bit before bashing this one upside the head.

    OTOH, I don’t play putt putt golf on Sunday afternoons myself anymore. Instead I sit in my rocking chair and wish for the pre-Bush days when our gubmint was much smaller and oh-so-much less expensive.

  22. Well all those people who disagree with me sure got Bush out of office didn’t they? Oh, I forgot, Kerry really won by 12 billion votes but Bush faked the election.
    I would even hesitate using the word “disagree”. Like I said in my original post, this woman might be a terrible nominee, she might be a great nominee. But “Bush works with her a lot” is a retarded argument.

  23. Haha, sorry Joe, either there was a computer error or I typed your name before hitting TAB down to the comments box. For all concerned, the above post was sent by me.

  24. Meanwhile, on thread, at this point I have no reason to vote against Bush’s mare.

    I for one would prefer that just the ass end be nominated. I am of the firm opinion that out government is most dangerous when it believes itself capable of rational thought.

    I have never seen evidence that a literal horse’s ass believed itself capable of thinking.

  25. Actually, presidents appointing old buddies to SCOTUS is nothing new. Byron White was a lifelong friend of JFK, Abe Fortas was a good pal of LBJ’s, and William O. Douglas and Robert Jackson were buddies to FDR.

    Having said that, I think there is more to Miers than meets the eye. Bush knows her personally, so the White House probably knows a lot about he views that we will not know until too late.

  26. *her* views… sorry.

  27. Hmm, wanting to see a Bush appointee with some judicial trail so that we may see as to weather or not said judge will pay respect to the constituion (in a position with no future accountability mind you) is lunacy.

    It’s all the Democrat’s faults, with their fillibusters and all. What, besides a horse’s ass, could possibly get past the Senate these days? You can object to the smell, but it’s really hard to take idealogical exception to a horse’s ass.

    So see, Bush ain’t as dumb as he sounds — and ya’ll better listen up here. Keep giving him a hard time and we’re going to see our gov’t run by the asses of all kinds of creatures. Moose, field mice, iguanas, you name it man. It’s all gonna be fair game.

  28. You asked for an example. Pointing out that the President has done some things right just doesn’t cut it.

    …Leaving doesn’t look like a good idea, does it? Keeping our troops there ’til the magic beans grow doesn’t seem like a good idea either. So here’s a scenario I made up where the President can’t win…

    …but wait! I didn’t make that up. The President insisted on that scenario!

    I see this nomination like that too. …The President put himself in this situation. If you haven’t noticed, there are a lot of culture war conservatives that don’t like this nomination, ’cause it isn’t painfully clear which side of the culture war she’s on. There are a lot of liberal types who don’t like her either ’cause it looks like she might have ties to Evangelicals.

    …and I don’t think anyone in this forum created this situation for the President. He’s made his own bed here. …and I don’t think anyone has switched their criticism.

    …unless you think that criticizing the President for betraying his base and criticizing the President for placating culture war conservatives are different sides of the same issue.

  29. Frankly, I’m miffed only because he didn’t appoint me to the Supreme Court. I’d be the first justice to sneak “All your base are belong to us” and “I, for one, welcome our Congressional overlords” into an opinion.

  30. Oh, and I’d also take stare decisis to a new level, by using the Roman Constitution as the basis for all of my decisions. “Mr. Chief Justice, I need to sacrifice a bull before joining the majority in this case.”

  31. He should appoint me to the court. i went to an Ivy law school and am a lawyer at a prestigous law firm so I am almost as qualified as Miers, plus I did it all while smoking copius amounts of weed.

  32. plus I did it all while smoking copius amounts of weed.

    So what man? When was the last time YOU sacrificed a bull? Besides, weed doesn’t smell like a horse’s ass.

    Face it, you’ll never get past Senate.

  33. Mr. Chief Justice, I need to sacrifice a bull before joining the majority in this case.

    This makes you a worthy contender. But don’t you have to burn the bull too?

    The Spock in my head says it is quite possible that charred bullshit smells worse than a horse’s ass. Therefore, I think the plain old horse’s ass will win.

  34. pothead-

    Judge Ginsburg? Doug, is that you? Sorry, man, but I’m afraid your ship has sailed.

    Always felt bad for you, though. Curse Bill Bennett and his moral muscling.

  35. I wouldn’t make it past the Judiciary commitee, I would be too busy asking Schumer if he has read the 2nd Amendment and Brownback the 1st.

    Brownback was shocked when he was telling Roberts that he didn’t understand why the Court struck down Congresses attempt to ban “indecency on the internet” and that something as vile as computer generated child porn is protected under the constitution. I am sure you are all familiar with Schumer.

  36. I just came across this disturbing exchange from the Rush Limbaugh transcript of today’s Dick Cheney interview:

    RUSH LIMBAW: …Do you know what her judicial philosophy is, and how can the public be convinced — the president’s supporters, be convinced — that it parallels the philosophy of Antonin Scalia or Clarence Thomas as the president had said during campaigns was his objective?

    DICK CHANEY, JR.: Right. Well, I’m confident that she has a conservative judicial philosophy that you’d be comfortable with, Rush. I’ve worked closely with Harriet for five years. I’ve seen her and worked closely with her, hand-in-glove with her, really, through this process of reviewing candidates for the Supreme Court, and that’s how we got to the Roberts nomination…

    My question: Is Dick Cheney the hand or the glove?

  37. Ginsberg should have made it. Everyone talks about diversity on the court, shouldn’t the millions of pot smokers have a representative on the court. Seeing how the seats are now reserved as “women’s” seat and “black” seat, would Ginsberg’s seat have been the “pot smokers” seat. What a lost opportunity.

  38. Only the offering is burned–the justices feast on the rest. See Template and Guidelines for Domestic Roman Sacrifice.

    I’ll swear in with an oath to Jupiter to support the people and Senate of Rome: S.P.Q.R.

  39. “I’ve worked closely with Harriet for five years. I’ve seen her and worked closely with her, hand-in-glove with her, really, through this process of reviewing candidates for the Supreme Court, and that’s how we got to the Roberts nomination…”

    She’s the sock-puppet apparently.

  40. “My question: Is Dick Cheney the hand or the glove?”

    Neither. He’s the dick.

  41. In that ad for Meirs a link to a “news” article states the following:

    Senators Should Resist Pressure from Liberal Extremists; Stand-Up for Principle, Not Politics.

    I love it when standard boilerplate language from these partisans (Democratic and Republican) blows up in their face.

  42. The takedown in this morning’s Opinion Journal (from WSJ) was devastating. That “ping” you hear is the bullet flying out of Alexander Hamilton’s body from the centrifugal force generated by the spinning.

  43. Having a horse in the Supreme Court would work just as good as anything else.

    Uphold: stamp

    Reject: stamp stamp

  44. Or, if she’s confirmed, Justice Incitatus.

    Now that reminds me of Star Wars (Darth Sidious::Justice Incitatus). I am going to be creeped the f*** out if they start taking new latin names when they get a seat on the court…

  45. bush has done something to impress me here — there was a question in his first term as to whether or not he was a hypernationalist ideological zealot, cast of the form of the neo-jacobins, expounding the religion of american superiority.

    clearly, he is not — or at least, not just that. a dominant feature of his character is simple machine politics, as appointing two ostensible servants of the bush dynasty to the court shows. if (as the plan surely goes) jeb bush becomes president in 2009, and he replaces other aging vets, the bush dynasty will have consolidated power in the legislative and judicial branches in a manner that should make devotees of republicanism shudder.

    it is a picture-perfect setup for the end of the rule of law.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.