October 19, 2005


How does Miers measure up?: Compare her résumé with two former unknowns'. Some similarities might surprise you. (William McKenzie, October 18, 2005, Dallas Morning News)

The emptiest suit since Dan Quayle. The female version of a cigar-chompin' crony. An inspiration to unqualified people.

Now that we have this image of Harriet Miers, can we please stop the insanity and examine the facts about the president's Supreme Court nominee? Given her caricature, you'd think she barely has the talent to get out of bed.

That's not true, but don't take my word. Stack her résumé up against those of the justices whose departures have created openings for President Bush. Yes, William Rehnquist and Sandra Day O'Connor, who were relatively unknown until they became definitive justices. Look at their backgrounds....

In all fairness, you really oughtn't compare Ms Miers to the obviously less-qualified status of nearly all justices before they were seated--like the new Chief, who merely worked for the White House Counsel whereas she is White House Counsel--after all, the point of rising to the top of your profession is that you just don't have many peers. Only AGs, Solicitor Generals, experienced Justices, and a few Senators will have anything like her background and that's a pretty small fraternity.

Republicans Warming Up to Miers: More Democrats find cause for concern. The turning point for both parties seems to be her answers about abortion in a 1989 survey. (Maura Reynolds, October 19, 2005, LA Times)

The Supreme Court nomination of Harriet E. Miers appeared to gain some ground with Republicans and lose some with Democrats on Tuesday after she turned over to senators a 57-page background questionnaire and 12 boxes of supporting documents.

Republicans who had expressed reservations about her nomination focused on one of those pages: a 10-question survey dating to 1989 from Texans United for Life in which she said, as a candidate for the Dallas City Council, that she favored outlawing abortion except to save the life of a mother.

"It will be a positive for her with me and with others who care about the life issue," said Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), who met with Miers for 45 minutes in his office Tuesday. "I think it will be construed favorably among conservatives."

Some Democrats, including California Sen. Dianne Feinstein, described Miers' responses on abortion as cause for concern. Feinstein has previously said she would find it hard to vote for someone who she believed would vote to overturn the landmark Roe vs. Wade decision that established a right to abortion.

"The answers clearly reflect that Harriet Miers is opposed to Roe v. Wade," Feinstein said. "This raises very serious concerns about her ability to fairly apply the law without bias in this regard."

Just wait until she explains it all to Senator Boxer....

Posted by Orrin Judd at October 19, 2005 12:11 PM

Of course, there's one key difference that the inside-the-beltway conservatives won't mention: Rehnquist and O'COnnor went to Stanford Law, Miers to SMU.

Posted by: Foos at October 19, 2005 12:34 PM

I'm really surprised Miers' opponents have yet to bring up the fact that SMU received the death penality in college football. Not that it has anything directly to do with Harriet, but neither do a bunch of other things that have been brought up in the past 2 1/2 weeks.

Posted by: John at October 19, 2005 12:50 PM

But part of the problem is that conservatives are worried that she will be another O'Connor.

Posted by: David Cohen at October 19, 2005 12:56 PM


Posted by: oj at October 19, 2005 1:04 PM


Posted by: David Cohen at October 19, 2005 1:27 PM

If O'Connor was a moderate we've already won.

Posted by: oj at October 19, 2005 1:32 PM

Perhaps my comment would better apply to yesterday's postings, but nobody reads or responds to most things that are a day old.

No one seems to mention that even Bill Clinton, Al Gore and Rudy Guillane used to profess more anti abortion sentiments in the past, perhaps a little further back than Ms. Miers' Dallas City Council campaign. I believe Al Gore even had a pretty decent pro-life voting record as a Senator from Tennessee. They changed their stances for political necessity and advantage. Running in public elections, they had to openly declare their new positions on the matter. Ms. Miers may have a past opinion on the matter, similar to theirs, but she is not running now for a public election, and does not have to declare her position for the Senate hearings.

Posted by: A F HEBERT at October 19, 2005 1:45 PM

If conservatives can support abortion rights, we've already lost.

Posted by: David Cohen at October 19, 2005 1:55 PM

Of course conservatives can support abortion, most do.

Posted by: oj at October 19, 2005 2:03 PM

I saw you palm that card, but I think I'll just sit tight and wait for the onslaught to begin.

Posted by: David Cohen at October 19, 2005 2:09 PM

Don't you mean Senator Feinstein?

Posted by: jim hamlen at October 19, 2005 2:19 PM

Attack, attack and again, attack.

There are many so-called conservatives who stand boldly the like pharasee in the Temple, who bragged that he was not like the sinful publican, but who, in their heart of hearts, hold on to baby-murder on demand, as though it were a Monopoly game "Get out of Jail Free" card, to be brought out if a daughter or secretary should find occasion to play it.

This is a serious moral failing, as such a one is already a murderer in his heart, not having completed the act only because he has not yet gotten around to it.

Posted by: Lou Gots at October 19, 2005 2:46 PM

O'Connor was to conservatives like Lucy holding the football to Charlie Brown.

Miers is definitely better than O'Connor ... pro-life, religious. An originalist in interpreting the Bible. Humble and loves the law. She has to be better.

Now, is she as good as Janice Brown? That's a question.

Posted by: pj at October 19, 2005 9:12 PM