“The Miers nomination was clearly a strategic mistake by the Bush administration,’’ Dr. Manning said. “But the White House may take some solace in knowing that it is hardly the first to make such an error. Indeed, the selection of Supreme Court nominees is usually a very tricky matter that is often fraught with political peril for presidents.
“Attention will now turn to whom the president will next nominate. Given the conservative dismay with the lack of a right-leaning record by Harriet Miers, most observers expect that Bush will appoint a staunch conservative. However, Democrats are likely to fight such a selection and the president enters this potential battle in a position of relative weakness. The widening CIA leak investigation and his currently lackluster approval ratings suggest that the president is hardly in a position to pick a political fight at this point. This confirmation battle will definitely be one worth watching.”
Dr. Manning presented a paper on Supreme Court nominee John Roberts earlier this year to the American Political Science Association. Titled, "How Right Is He: A Quantitative Analysis of the Ideology of Judge John G. Roberts," the paper examined 190 decisions made during Roberts' short tenure as a federal appeals judge and compared those averages to other federal appeals judges across the country.
For more information on Prof. Manning and his research, visitwww.umassd.edu/cas/polisci/manning.cfm