Since Dubya repeatedly says that Miers will strictly interpret the Constitution and not legislate from the bench, will some journalist please ask Bush the following....."Mr. President, do you feel that the verdict in Roe v. Wade was an example of legislating from the bench?"
This way, the public can finally cut to the chase on this.
As far as the overall "legislate from the bench" jargon goes, Edward Lazarus has a good piece up on the Find Law blog.
In getting to the bottom of the lingo, Lazarus writes:
"The nature of Miers's nomination may well have made such revelations inevitable. On the one hand, in order to stay true to longstanding Administration strategy, President Bush has to promote Miers as a strict constructionist who will not "legislate from the bench."
"But on the other hand, because Miers is such an unknown even in GOP circles, right-wing skeptics of her nomination are demanding actual evidence that Miers will carry their agenda - and make no mistake, this is a highly political agenda, not a neutral "carry out the law as written and respect precedent" agenda -- onto the Court.
"Most importantly, they are looking for assurances not about neutral decisionmaking or interpretive method, but rather about results: They want to know, with certainty, that Miers will vote to overturn Roe v. Wade. From their perspective, simply declaring Miers to be a strict constructionist is not enough.
"As a result, the Administration finds itself torn between directly conflicting imperatives. It has to say that Miers won't base her legal thinking on her values, in order to position her as a strict constructionist. Yet at the same time, the only way the Administration can credibly reassure its conservative base that it can trust Miers to "do the right thing," is to hint strongly that Miers's evangelical Christian values will make her a conservative standard bearer on the Court."