The Miers Trail


Guess all those who claimed she will become another Souter are a bit off base:

Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers agreed in 1989 that she would “actively support” a proposed constitutional amendment that would ban abortion except when necessary to prevent the death of the mother.

Miers indicated her support for a “Human Life Amendment” on an April 1989 questionnaire she filled out for Texans United for Life when she was a candidate for the Dallas City Council. The document, which has been submitted to the Senate Judiciary Committee, was first reported today by the Associated Press.

On that form, she also said she would oppose the use of public funds for abortion and use her influence to keep “pro-abortion” people off city boards and commissions dealing with health issues. She qualified her answer regarding boards and commissions by adding the words, “to the extent Pro-Life views are relevant.”

The answer differentiates her appointment from that of Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., who left no explicit document indicating his personal views on abortion as opposed to the views of the Reagan administration when he was representing it.

Anti-abortion groups have worked for decades for enactment of a constitutional amendment overturning Roe v. Wade , the 1973 Supreme Court opinion legalizing abortion, but they have never mustered sufficient support to move forward.

“If Congress passes a Human Life Amendment to the Constitution that would prohibit abortion except when it was necessary to prevent the death of the mother, would you actively support its ratification by the Texas Legislature,” the questionnaire asked.

Miers checked “yes” to that question, and all of the group’s other questions, including those referring to public funding of abortion.

[…]Miers also checked “yes” to the following questions:

–“Will you oppose the use of City funds or facilities by any persons, groups, clinics or organizations to promote, encourage or provide referrals for abortions?”

–“Would you refuse the endorsement of any organization that supports abortion-on-demand?”

–“Will you use your influence as an elected official within the confines of your oath of office to promote the pro-life cause?”

In another form, submitted to the Dallas Eagle Forum for the same election, she said she would oppose an ordinance that would “force” property owners and businesses to provide accommodations to persons with AIDS.

The abortion position is consistent with Miers’s attempts as an American Bar Association leader to keep that organization from adopting a position on the subject. It is also consistent with various quotes from Miers’s friends and associates in Texas, who have described her as “pro-life” in a variety of interviews.

You can read the questionarre here.

It seems that many of the Miers haters have become so emotionally attached to their position that no matter what kind of information comes out now they will still oppose her. Many keep on and on about her donation to Al Gore, but as Bookworm has posted about many times there are lots of Republicans who were once blind and have now seen the light…such as the Republican Texas Govenor, Rick Perry, who was Al Gore’s campaign chairman in Texas for 1988.

Of course this could be part of her evil plot. She lied on the questionairre in 1989 knowing she would be nominated for the Supreme Court to then trick conservative into thinking she was pro-life.

Ed Whelan has posted his first positive thoughts about Miers today:

I find very encouraging the Texans United for Life candidate questionnaire that Harriet Miers completed in 1989, when she was running for Dallas city council. Let me explain why.

As I spelled out more fully in my recent Senate testimony, Roe v. Wade is the Dred Scott of our time. Roe is not merely patently wrong but also fundamentally hostile to core precepts of American government and citizenship. It has grossly distorted American politics for three decades. All Americans, no matter what their views on abortion policy, should recognize that the Supreme Court?s unconstitutional power grab on abortion must end and that the public-policy issue of whether and how to regulate abortions should be returned where the Constitution leaves it ? to the people and to the political processes in the states.

[…]Miers?s 1989 questionnaire response shows her to have held strong pro-life views. Indeed, I doubt that any Supreme Court nominee has ever had a clearer record of embracing pro-life policy positions. I see no reason to regard her questionnaire response as perfunctory. On the contrary, the fact that she supplemented her ?yes? answer to question 5 ? ?Will you vote against the appointment of pro-abortion persons to City Boards or Committees that deal with health issues?? ? with the insertion ?To the extent Pro-Life views are relevant? indicates that she was being careful and thoughtful in responding to the questionnaire. I also am not aware of any evidence indicating that her views on abortion have changed.

Searchlight Crusade has an interesting take from a business standpoint:

Here is actual new information about the Miers nomination in the Houston Chronicle. Business leaders are backing her because they think she’ll be good for tort reform. Obvious implications: 1) This makes her a much stronger nominee from a capitalist point of view 2) Look out for the ABA to attempt an assassination, either in the bar evaluation or in the Senate.

[…]This morning’s reads were something of an Epiphany for me on the subject of the Miers nomination. It’s not about Roe vs. Wade, or any other constitutional issues. It’s about the legal climate for business. And on that front, I believe Professor Reynolds is right in that promoting a White House Counsel is a bad thing to do, but she becomes a much stronger pick on all other fronts. From this point of view, I don’t have to trust the President – I can see her paper trail on the issues, and I have become a much stronger Miers supporter.

As I said also, look for some serious efforts to derail her nomination from the Trial Lawyers, whether by forte main or by stealth.

Also check out The Hedgehog Blog, ScotusBlog, & FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog for more.

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Thanks for the link, Curt. I find Miers a bit of a cipher myself — a feeling increased, not decreased, by the information that continues to emerge about her. One thing I do know, though, is the fact that she’s made a politically journey through her life is not a reason to disqualify her.

Mike’s America

Miers Nomination: Charge Up the Freon and Keep on

There’s been enough hot air unleashed over President Bush’s nomination of Harriet Miers to the United States Supreme Court to melt the polar ice caps. For the sake of mother earth, it’s time to turn down the thermostat and keep on chillin’.