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Supreme Court nominee criticised -

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(generated from captions) the Kevorkians of the world don't

come in and say, "OK, you've got a

disability, you look like you're in

pain and suffering and here's a

bunch of pills. End it. " This is

the first case to be heard by the

new Chief Justice John Roberts and

if George W. Bush has his way, the

next Supreme Court Justice will be

Harry Reid, the nominee he

Harry Reid, the nominee he announced this week who's now serving as

this week who's now serving as White House counsel. She has devoted her

life to the rule of law and the

cause of justice. She will be an

outstanding addition to the Supreme

Court of the United States. Ms

Miers' no more domination was a

surprise. The first woman to be

President of the State bar of Texas,

she's been on the White House staff

since 2001 and has been counsel to

the President since February.

Criticism has been pouring in from

George W. Bush's usual political

allies, including charges that her

main qualification appears to be

that the President knows her.

Is she qualified by her experience?

Is she the most qualified person?

Clearly the answer to that is no.

There's no way this woman is

qualified for the United States

Supreme Court. If she had not been

female and not been the President's

friend she would not have one

friend she would not have one chance in 1,000 of being nominated to that

court. As Ms Miers makes the rounds

on capital Hille, something very

strange is happening. Some

strange is happening. Some powerful Democrats have actually welcomed

Democrats have actually welcomed her no more naltion. Perhaps

no more naltion. Perhaps encouraged by details of her record, including

a one-time donation to Al Gore.

I frankly didn't know that she

contributed money to Al Gore, but

contributed money to Al Gore, but if she did that speaks well of her.

she did that speaks well of her. It only makes me feel better about her.

LAUGHTER The White House is trying

to reassure its critics. I know her

well enough to be able to say that

she's not going to change. I am

she's not going to change. I am sure the President believesntrol over

the President believesntrol over the nominee once she is confirmed and

nominee once she is confirmed and on the bench. And if Conservatives

aren't convinced their passion for

George Bush could fade and

Republicans could pay the price. Alan Dershowitz is arguably the highest profile lawyer in the United States. He is professor at the Harvard law school, specialising in civil rights and criminal law, runs a successful criminal practice, and has also found time to write more than 20 books. He joins us tonight

to talk about the changes taking place at the US Supreme Court.

. Thanks for being there Alan

Dershowitz. Thank you. Something

extraordinary truly appears to be happening with the President's

latest nominee to the Supreme Court.

You've got right-wing Republicans

up in arms and Democrats quietly

supportive. What's going on?

Well, we're seeing very great

politisation of the Supreme Court.

Judges are supposed to be picked

because they are the greatest

lawyers of their age and there was

lawyers of their age and there was a time when judges were picked for

time when judges were picked for the Supreme Court based on that