Extreme Judicial Makeover on 'The Daily Show':

The Topsy-Turvy Nomination of Harriet Miers
October 20, 2005

Jon Stewart, Host: When we begin tonight, in Warshington-- [mock Scottish accent] "Aye, Mr. President!" -- We've--

[Audience chuckles]

Stewart: I suck at that.

We begin in Washington. So much has happened in the 2 1/2 weeks since President Bush nominated Harriet Miers for the Supreme Court, many twists, many turns. We thought it would be worthwhile to get our bearings and recap the entire saga as it goes up to now.

You'll recall, the President's first Supreme Court nominee, John Roberts, turned out to be, (what's it called there) "qualified", and...


Stewart: ... breezed onto the Court. So when it was time to fill the second vacancy, seemed like the White House had the nomination thing down cold.

[Video clip of Bush]

George W. Bush, U.S. President: Once again, I considered a wide variety of distinguished Americans from different walks of life. Once again, we consulted with Democrats and Republicans in the United States Senate.
And once again, one person person stood out...

[end video clip]

Stewart: Once again, that person was John Roberts. But sadly...


Stewart: ...he was already on the Supreme Court!

So they went with Harriet Miers, a woman who's never been a judge. And has no reputation as a legal scholar. But the President felt very confident she had the one quality that matters.

[Video clip of Bush]

Bush: I've known Harriet for more than a decade.

[end video clip]

Stewart: DONE!!!


Stewart: He knows her!


Let her on the Supreme Court!

You know, interestingly enough, it's the same tactic that he used for the Attorney General and the Secretary of Education.

[Video clip from November 10, 2004]

Bush: I'm pleased to announce my nomination of Judge Al Gonzales... Over the past decade I've also come to know the character of this man.

[Video clip from November 17, 2004]

Bush: I've known Margaret Spellings for more than a decade.

[end video clips]

[Stewart is twiddling a pen in his fingers with a bemused expression]

Stewart [softly and thoughtfully]: It seems to me that everyone he's known for more than a decade... gets a job.


Stewart: It's almost as if they know secrets about him from an earlier part of his life.

[Shows a picture of Bush in his 20's]


Stewart: ...that he may or may not have led.

[Gives the camera a Very Significant Look and holds his finger up to his lips in a 'shhhh' gesture]

Stewart: "I've known him for a decade. I only remember the last eight years, but I'm..."


Stewart: So how did the Presidential vouch go over?

[Video clips]

George Will, Conservative Columnist, October 9: She is now in her 7th decade of life, and has left no trail, no evidence. Not a Law Review article, not a judicial opinion...

Senator Trent Lott, R-Missippi, October 5: There are a lot more people, men, women and minorities, that are more qualified in my opinion, by their experience, than she is.

Pat Buchanan, Conservative commentator, October 4: There's no way this woman is qualified for the United States Supreme Court...

[end video clips]

Stewart [silently mouths the word]: {Ouch.}


Stewart: But to make matters worse, Democrats seemed OK with her.

So for whatever reason, just knowing the President...


Stewart [to audience]: Settle! Settle!

For whatever reason, just knowing the President didn't qualify her for the Supreme Court. So began Phase II of the selling of Harriet Miers. This was to let conservatives know that she had another powerful friend.

[Video clip of Bush]

Bush: Part of Harriet Miers' life is her religion...

[end video clip]

[Stewart gives the viewer a Significant Look]

Stewart: So... she knows George Bush... and Jesus.


Stewart: Come on, what more do you need, people??!!

For those of you who are wondering what her religion has to do with anything, Dobson?

[Audio clip of conservative preacher James Dobson, from "Focus On The Family"]

Dobson: ...Harriet Miers is an evangelical Christian, that she is from a very conservative church, which is almost universally pro-life...

[end clip]

[Stewart mugs a huge wink at the camera]

Stewart: Get it? She's religious-- are we understanding what the President can't say here?

Jesus + Fetus = SCOTUS!!


Stewart: All right, done and done! Who wants to move on to another appropriations bill and be done with the entire mess? --I'm sorry, you had a thought?

[Video clips]

Charles Krauthammer, conservative columnist: The Miers appointment is a mistake.

David Frum, conservative columnist: What is known about her is not good.

Bill Kristol, conservative editor: She's not the right person to have nominated for this job.

[end video clips]

Stewart: "Oh, sh[beep]t!"


Stewart: Even the Jesus thing didn't fly!

Apparently, many conservatives weren't just looking for a 'wink, wink, she's one of us'. They thought maybe she should be, ah, er, qualified.

And thus began the Harriet Miers For Supreme Court Judge Take 3. This time, "she's qualified":

[Video clip of Bush on October 17]

Bush: Harriet Miers is a uniquely qualified person to serve on the bench.
She's impressed these folks [nods to the people standing around him]. They know her well. They know that she'll bring excellence to the bench.

[end video clip]

Stewart: By the way, those folks: The Texas Supreme Court.

They didn't execute her-- she must be good people.


--- End ---

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