In Today’s Observer

Ben and I revisit the story of the Manhattan Twelve, the roundtable of conservative scholars whose decision to “suspend” their support of President Nixon in 1971 bears an intriguing resemblance the rebellion brewing among conservatives incensed by the Harriet Miers Nomination. (Hat tip to the New York Post’s Ryan Sager who first noted the analogy, and whose book about the future of the Republican Party is forthcoming.)

Anna Schneider-Mayerson plumbs the reaction of the Federalist Society, the cozy klatch of conservative lawyers and scholars that has spent years building a pipeline to the federal judiciary, and finds widespread disenchantment with the Miers nomination. In the best quote category, Richard Epstein, the libertarian firebrand and legal scholar, fumes: “This woman comes from nowhere and has never been educated.”

And, tying the ribbon around The Observer’s Miers package, Simon Doonan hails the Texas blonde as an unlikely icon of 2006 spring fashion chic.

Jason Horwitz examines Mayor Bloomberg’s growing anxiety about his legacy as he finishes up his first term in office and sprints toward his second.

On the opinion pages, Joe Conason salutes Mohammed ElBaradei, director of the International Atomic Energy Agency and this year’s recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize.

And Niall Stanage looks forward to the drama of a Clinton-Pirro battle for U.S. Senate. In Today’s Observer