Wednesday, October 19, 2005

The extremism of Harriet Miers

As if it's not enough that she lacks the qualifications one would deem necessary of a nominee to the Supreme Court, Harriet Miers may actually be something of an extremist on one of the key wedge issues of our time: abortion. The Post is reporting that "Miers once pledged that she would 'actively support' a constitutional amendment banning abortions except to save a mother's life, participate in antiabortion rallies, and try to block the flow of public money to clinics and organizations that help women obtain the procedure".

That was back in 1989, when she was running for a seat on the Dallas City Council. But those written promises provide one of the few glimpses we have into the mind of Harriet Miers, who generally seems completely unprepared to be a Supreme Court justice. Consider, for example, what we know of her from her Senate Judiciary Committee questionnaire:

In her response to the questionnaire, Miers divulged little about the precise experience -- and legal expertise -- she has acquired in three high-level jobs during the past five years in the Bush White House...

In contrast to Roberts, who said in his questionnaire response that he had argued orally before the Supreme Court 39 times, Miers has made no such appearances. With a corporate practice that rarely involved trial work, Miers, 60, said that she had identified eight cases that went through complete trials, of which she was the lead counsel for four.

Miers's nomination, which I've described as a debacle and an embarrassment, is looking worse and worse.

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Around the blogosphere:

New Donkey notes that Miers once supported the "Human Life Amendment," that is, that she held "the most extreme position imaginable on abortion". Armando at Daily Kos responds.

Wonkette suggests that she might be "shrewd, cynical and self-serving".

Think Progress reports that Miers may not consider Griswold v. Connecticut, the 1965 case that extended marital privacy to contraception, to be "settled law".

Andrew Sullivan: "For me, at least, a willingness to tamper with the Constitution itself to implement social policy is the opposite of any meaningful conservative philosophy."

Is Miers a conservative? She's certainly no John Roberts.

Brad DeLong: "The most important thing a Supreme Court Justice needs to know is that the United States is a free country. This doesn't seem to be something that Harriet Miers knows."

I'm not sure she knows much about anything when it comes to the Supreme Court.

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