Makeup test.

Dubious and far-fetched ideas.
Oct. 20 2005 6:02 PM

Makeup Test

A questionnaire Harriet Miers can answer.

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Sens. Pat Leahy and Arlen Specter joined forces yesterday to ask Harriet Miers for a rewrite on her Supreme Court Confirmation Final, citing her "insufficient," "incomplete," and "insulting" answers on her first test. It is outrageously unfair to ask that Miers—who is busy meeting and greeting the various senators, manning her outstanding blog, doing murder boards for the hearings, boning up on Wickard v. Filburn, and making late-night calls to Specter—answer pages and pages of annoying legal questions. For one thing, she never pretended to be a great constitutional scholar—the president was the one pretending that. And for another, she should totally be allowed to copy off John Roberts' test, no matter what the Washington Post editorial page says.

But there's an easy solution here: Instead of playing "gotcha" or even "hide the salami," the folks over at the Senate should ask Miers about subjects in which she's known to excel. Some sample questions might include:

  1. Who is the bestest, smartest, coolest president ever?
  2. Please provide the names, addresses, and telephone numbers of everyone with whom you have never discussed Roe v. Wade.
  3. True or False: Barbara and Jenna totally don't appreciate how cool their mom and dad are.
  4. Is it correct for a comma to appear before a coordinating conjunction linking the parts of a compound predicate?
  5. You have named Chief Justice Warren Burger as one of your favorite Supreme Court justices. Is it his devastating intellect, his soaring writing style, or his evenhanded administration of the court that you most admire? Where do Charles Whittaker and James McReynolds rank among your Top 10 Justices?
  6. When you wrote "Dates Not Available" next to most of the events at which you gave speeches throughout your career, did you mean that you were unable to recall the dates of the events, or that Justice Nathan Hecht was stepping out with Priscilla Owen that night?
  7. Best bowling score ever?
  8. If Jesus and President Bush got into a fight, who would win?
  9. Please name any state Bar Associations from which you have yet to be suspended.

Dahlia Lithwick writes about the courts and the law for Slate