Gendered observations that make you go, “hmmm….”
Wow, talk about your night and day observations about how Miers’ gender will affect her possible performance on the Supreme Court. First, there’s Crooked Timber’s Kieran Healy: [T]he fact that she?s a woman leads me to think that, unlike the likes of Michael Brown, she?s also competent and probably a pretty tough person. It?s hard ...
Wow, talk about your night and day observations about how Miers' gender will affect her possible performance on the Supreme Court. First, there's Crooked Timber's Kieran Healy:
Wow, talk about your night and day observations about how Miers’ gender will affect her possible performance on the Supreme Court. First, there’s Crooked Timber’s Kieran Healy:
[T]he fact that she?s a woman leads me to think that, unlike the likes of Michael Brown, she?s also competent and probably a pretty tough person. It?s hard to get to this point in U.S. politics without having those qualities if you?re a woman…. I?d be surprised if her confirmation hearings showed her to be clueless or a pushover.
That’s a lovely sentiment, but without digging too deep I can think of a few examples on both sides of the political fence who don’t meet Healy’s criteria. [UPDATE: Healy amends his assessment, but not on the gender issue.] Then, there’s this from the American Thinker’s Thomas Lifner:
One of the lessons the President learned at Harvard was the way in which members of small groups assume different roles in their operation, each of which separate roles can influence the overall function. The new Chief Justice is a man of unquestioned brilliance, as well as cordial disposition. He will be able to lead the other Justices through his intellect and knowledge of the law. Having ensured that the Court?s formal leader meets the traditional and obvious qualities of a Justice, and is a man who indeed embodies the norms all Justices feel they must follow, there is room for attending to other important roles in group process. According to a source in her Dallas church quoted by Marvin Olasky, Harriet Miers is someone who
taught children in Sunday School, made coffee, brought donuts: “Nothing she’s asked to do in church is beneath her.”
As the court?s new junior member, the 60 year old lady Harriet Miers will finally give a break to Stephen Breyer, who has been relegated to closing and opening the door of the conference room, and fetching beverages for his more senior Justices. Her ability to do this type of work with no resentment, no discomfort, and no regrets will at the least endear her to the others. It will also confirm her as the person who cheerfully keeps the group on an even keel, more comfortable than otherwise might be the case with a level of emotional solidarity.
Apparently, if confirmed, Miers would also have the prerogative to ground any Justice who stays out after curfew.
Daniel W. Drezner is a professor of international politics at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University and co-host of the Space the Nation podcast. Twitter: @dandrezner
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