Robert Bork: Miers nomination is a mistake

Conservative criticisms of Miers' Nomination a conspiracy?

Republican Senators get an earful on Miers

Telephone lines to Republican senators sizzled last week with calls protesting the nomination of Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court. That followed reluctance of the senators to heed the call by Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist and the White House to go to the Senate floor to boost Miers.

Sen. John Cornyn, a Texas associate of Miers and her friend for 15 years, was the only speaker praising her during Tuesday's "morning business," though the leadership had hoped to fill that period with Miers boosters.

A footnote: President Bush had advised senators that his probable choice for the Supreme Court was federal Circuit Judge Consuelo Callahan of California. Bush touted Callahan's diversity as a Hispanic woman, but she is liberal enough to be recommended for the high court by Democratic Sen. Charles Schumer. . . .


Gun Crimes Committed with Unregistered Guns In Canada

Most murder guns in Canada are never registered with the Canadian Firearms Centre, according to a new Statistics Canada report.

The new Juristat study - a version of which reported over the summer that Canada's murder rate jumped 12% in 2004 after a three-decade slide - says that registration information on murder guns was "unknown" to police in more than half of homicides reported between 1997 and 2004 where the gun was recovered.

Gun registry opponents say that proves the registry - two years and more than a billion tax dollars later - is a failure.

"First, 65% of firearms homicides involve handguns. We've had a handgun registry for decades, so obviously it didn't work either," said Dennis Young, a researcher in the office of Conservative MP and registry critic Garry Breitkreuz.

"But look at who's actually committing murders. Two-thirds of murderers - and half of their adult victims - already had criminal histories. The federal government decided with the registry to go after law-abiding gun owners, when the people doing the killing are overwhelmingly criminals who'd never think to register their guns. What a waste." . . .


Brady Campaign tries to scare tourists in Florida

The leaflets begin with the words "An Important Notice to Florida Visitors" in bold red type by the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.

"Do not argue unnecessarily with local people," it says. "If someone appears to be angry with you, maintain to the best of your ability a positive attitude, and do not shout or make threatening gestures."

Florida's "stand your ground" law, which took effect Saturday, means that people no longer must attempt to retreat or defuse a threatening situation before using violence in order to later claim they were acting in self-defence. People already had that right in their homes, but the law now allows them to meet "force with force" in any place they have a legal right to be. . . .

Governor Jeb Bush has repeatedly pointed to a 34-year low in state crime statistics to demonstrate that Florida is not a haven for violence.

"It's pure, unadulterated politics," Mr. Bush said last week of the Brady Campaign's tactics. "Shame on them."

The Florida tourism industry, however, is taking the campaign seriously, with Visit Florida — the state's official tourism-marketing arm — issuing a statement calling Florida "a very safe and secure destination that excels in caring for its visitors."


Talk tomorrow at the University of Tennessee

I will be talking at the University of Tennessee Law School in Knoxville at noon. The talk will be on the judicial confirmation process.

The talk today at Vanderbilt was a lot of fun. About 80 people showed up and there was a nice discussion after the talk.

"The good guy finally wins for a change" 82-year-old protects himself with gun

L.G. Von Zehner, 82, was washing his Cadillac late Monday night in a commercial corridor when an armed thug interrupted the task and demanded money.

The encounter between the would-be robber and retired businessman was brief. It ended with the gunman dead in the back seat of Zehner's car and Zehner himself -- bloodied and wounded from a shootout -- walking into the roadway and desperately waving a gun in the hopes that a sympathetic motorist would stop to help. . . .

Some people working near where the incident occurred were impressed with the way Von Zehner handled himself in a life-and-death situation.

"The old man killed 'em," Stephenson said, as if surprised by Von Zehner's response under pressure.

"The good guy finally wins for a change," said Shanna, a colleague of Stephenson's at the 7-Eleven store who didn't want to give her last name.

Thanks very much to L.J. O'Neale for sending this to me.

The Perfect Storm for Judicial Confirmations

George WIll on Miers

While driving from Memphis to Nashville yesterday, I had a chance to listen to talk radio and it confirmed for me how upset conservatives were with the Miers pick. George Will's column makes a similar point to what Ann Coulter was making on Sean Hannity's show yesterday.

It is not important that she be confirmed because there is no evidence that she is among the leading lights of American jurisprudence, or that she possesses talents commensurate with the Supreme Court's tasks. The president's ``argument'' for her amounts to: Trust me. There is no reason to, for several reasons.

He has neither the inclination nor the ability to make sophisticated judgments about competing approaches to construing the Constitution. Few presidents acquire such abilities in the course of their prepresidential careers, and this president, particularly, is not disposed to such reflections.

     Furthermore, there is no reason to believe that Miers' nomination resulted from the president's careful consultation with people capable of such judgments. If 100 such people had been asked to list 100 individuals who have given evidence of the reflectiveness and excellence requisite in a justice, Miers' name probably would not have appeared in any of the 10,000 places on those lists. . . .

Supreme Court Refuses To Block Lawsuit Against Gun Manufacturers


Why does FEMA have against armed police officers?

Talk at noon tomorrow at Vanderbilt

I will be giving a talk on the judicial confirmation process at noon on Wednesday at the Vanderbilt University Law School.

Talk at noon today

I will be giving a talk on gun control from noon to 1:15 today at the University of Memphis Law School.


Have Steroids Changed Baseball?

Survey on guns in the workplace

David Frum on Harriet Miers

I worked with Harriet Miers. She's a lovely person: intelligent, honest, capable, loyal, discreet, dedicated ... I could pile on the praise all morning. But nobody would describe her as one of the outstanding lawyers in the United States. And there is no reason at all to believe either that she is a legal conservative or - and more importantly - that she has the spine and steel necessary to resist the pressures that constantly bend the American legal system toward the left.

I am not saying that she is not a legal conservative. I am not saying that she is not steely. I am saying only that there is no good reason to believe either of these things. Not even her closest associates on the job have no good reason to believe either of these things. In other words, we are being asked by this president to take this appointment purely on trust, without any independent reason to support it. And that is not a request conservatives can safely grant. . . .

But here is what we do know: the pressures on a Supreme Court justice to shift leftward are intense. There is the negative pressure of the vicious, hostile press that legal conservatives must endure. And there are the sweet little inducements - the flattery, the invitations to conferences in Austria and Italy, the lectureships at Yale and Harvard - that come to judges who soften and crumble. Harriet Miers is a taut, nervous, anxious personality. It is impossible to me to imagine that she can endure the anger and abuse - or resist the blandishments - that transformed, say, Anthony Kennedy into the judge he is today. . . .

What is a low poll rating for a politician?


Rob Texans at your own risk

Corpus Christi, Texas
Stabbed by a burglar in his own garage, a Texas homeowner fought back, shooting the suspect three times. . . .

Thanks very much to Gus Cotey for sending this to me.

Brady Campaign Attacking Florida over new gun law