October 18, 2005


Miers backed ban on most abortions in '89 (JESSE J. HOLLAND, October 18, 2005, AP)

Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers pledged support in 1989 for a constitutional amendment banning abortions except when necessary to save the life of the mother, according to material given to the Senate on Tuesday.

As a candidate for the Dallas city council, Miers also signaled support for the overall agenda of Texans United for Life - agreeing she would support legislation restricting abortions if the Supreme Court ruled that states could ban abortions and would participate in "pro-life rallies and special events."

Posted by Orrin Judd at October 18, 2005 5:09 PM

But she was entirely unqualified to perform the important constitutional exegesis of the Dallas City Council...

Posted by: David Cohen at October 18, 2005 5:45 PM

Yeah, but Souter said the same thing when he was running for Dallas city council,

and, according to John Podhoretz at NRO, John Roberts gave a more sophisticated answer on abortion when he was running for Dallas c.c.

Posted by: Jim in Chicago at October 18, 2005 6:46 PM

Sounds like we should just disband the Supreme Court and leave all those hard decisions up to the Dallas City Council.

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at October 18, 2005 6:50 PM

Raoul, you haven't seen the make-up of the current Dallas City Council.

As for Miers, it's going to be fun watching the Fruminators in the pundit world try to balance their dislike for Miers against the fact most of them cannot be seen jumping for joy if her nomination gets bogged down in the Senate over her previous positions on abortion, espeically since one of the things they've been disdainful of is Harriet's lack of a paper trail.

Posted by: John at October 18, 2005 7:20 PM

To John's point the thinking now is that this anti-abortion stuff is coming out to reduce her support among Dems and moderate GOPers, leaving it up to the conservatives to het her passed. But with the conservatives up in arms over her nomination she may not even make it out of the Judiciary Committee.

Posted by: AWW at October 18, 2005 9:03 PM

The appears to be something about the constitutional law of baby-murder that clouds men's (and women's, of course) minds after the manner of Lamont Cranston.

It is most painful to have to point out that advocacy of a constitutional amendment to abrogate Roe v. Wade bespeaks a recognition of the force of that decision as controlling authority. Of course the same observation applies to coditional advocacy of a certain piece of legislation contingent upon the decisions of the Supreme Court.

The feeling on gets upon consideration of the issues presented in the above article is that of a special education teacher in a room full of learning disabled students.

Posted by: Lou Gots at October 18, 2005 9:11 PM

On the other hand, should Miers make it through her confirmation hearings with no major gaffes, to the point that the deciding issue for a "no" vote for Democrats and a handful of moderate Republicans is her past statements/actions on abortion, it put the conservative GOPers and the NRO/Weekly Standard crowd in a bit of a bind.

They would face supporting the defeat of Miers mainly due to her uncovered paper trail of opposition to Roe, while at the same time hoping conservative senators would deliver the coup de grace to the nomination over her lack of a paper trail. Then they could force Bush to appoint a nominee with a real conservative paper trail ... who would now have to get past the same Senate Democrats and moderate GOPers who just KOed Harriet over the Roe issue. Aside from the wishful thinking/flawed logic involved, the anti-Miers pundrity will have burned a lot of bridges with the evangelicals, unless they can parce her testimony to extract the nuiances that would justify her rejection on non-Roe grounds.

Posted by: John at October 18, 2005 9:18 PM

Good point, John. Conservative Republican senators, if they vote against Miers, will have to justify why they voted to confirm Ginsberg (a pro-Roe, pro-abortion ACLU activist.) If these jokers could not get JRB, Owen and Pryor confirmed to appellate courts, who has any confidence that they could get the same folks (or someone similar) confirmed to the Supreme Court?

Posted by: sam at October 18, 2005 9:32 PM

sam --

Judging by Frum's interview with Hugh Hewitt last week, he simply plans to use his secret-yet-mighty telekentic mind control abilities to force the GOP half of the Gang of 14 to flip the 'yes' lever when the vote for Luttig, Brown or anyone else on the approved list comes to the Senate floor. Because if there's another possible secnario for that happening, Frum refused to explain it, despite being asked four times to outline how they would be confirmed in the face of evidence to the contrary.

Posted by: John at October 18, 2005 10:04 PM

Of course they'd be confirmed.

Posted by: oj at October 18, 2005 10:21 PM



Posted by: jim hamlen at October 18, 2005 10:46 PM

I'd say yes to the second neocon-sanctioned candidate nominated, if Miers goes down, but not the first. The GOP half of the GO-14 would still have to get some of that "extrodinary circumstances" stuff out of their systems on at least one of the big name paper trail people, but as the process inches closer to the 2006 midterms, the grumbling on the homefront will drown out the huzzahs from the media in the beltway over the GO-14's refreshing independence.

Posted by: John at October 18, 2005 10:47 PM

By the 55 Republicans and 7 Democrats who voted for them last time.

Posted by: oj at October 18, 2005 10:49 PM

The Gang of 14 has made explicit that Brown, Owens and Pryor will be filibustered for the Supreme Court. They are the definition of extraordinary circumstances.

Posted by: David Cohen at October 18, 2005 10:59 PM

They made explicit that those three do not represent the kind of extrairdinary circumstances in which a filibuster is appropriate, which is why the 7 Democrats broke their own Party's filibuster threat on them and made them federal judges.

Posted by: oj at October 18, 2005 11:04 PM

OJ - David is correct. There were stories, perhaps even cited here, where the gang of 14 said Pryor, Owens, and Brown were ok for the judge positions but would be filibusted if Bush tried to appoint them to the SC.

Posted by: AWW at October 18, 2005 11:17 PM

Nop there aren't. There are stories where Democrats who weren't party to the agreement said that.

Posted by: oj at October 19, 2005 9:48 AM

Sorry, OJ - but the proof's in the pudding. None of those three have been nominated, and I doubt if they would avoid the filibuster. Whether it could be broken is a matter of debate, but if you think Specter is voting FOR Janice Rogers Brown, you must have mold on the brain. And Warner, Voinovich, and the sob sisters from Maine will follow. Remember, Warner voted against Bork (along with Specter).

The only way the Gang of 14 will serve a good purpose is if McCain decides to embrace the right and publicly states that Brown, Owen, and Pryor are not extraordinary (and if they are described thus by Harry Reid, then let's vote today on the rule change). Is that possible? Perhaps.

McCain needs to show more strength towards Democrats than towards the GOP.

Posted by: jim hamlen at October 19, 2005 10:46 AM


The pudding is that all three were confirmed.

Brown can't satisfy the Religious Right--she's a libertarian, not a conservative.

Posted by: oj at October 19, 2005 11:34 AM

Confirmed to District Court, but not nominated for SCOTUS.

Miers is probably the 'best' compromise choice Bush could come up with. Me, I'd have picked John Cornyn and let Gov. Perry appoint Henry Bonilla to fill Cornyn's seat. And then told Harry Reid that the next vacancy will be filled with a recess appointment.

Too much sturm and drang have gone into Miers already. If the Dems are going to block each and every nominee (after Roberts), then just change the equation. If Specter is the roadblock, then use a catapault.

Posted by: jim hamlen at October 19, 2005 11:44 AM

He knows Miers. The rest are inherently untrustworthy.

Posted by: oj at October 19, 2005 11:52 AM