More controversy over Miers


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rick_reno
October 18, 2005, 08:12 AM
Is this the BEST person Bush could come up with? Who is he kidding?

http://www.cnn.com/2005/POLITICS/10/18/miers/index.html

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- As the White House renewed its attempts to rally backing for Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers, her views -- or non-views -- on a key privacy case appeared to ignite more controversy.

Miers spent much of Monday on Capitol Hill visiting with senators, among them Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Arlen Specter.

After their meeting, Specter told reporters that Miers said she believed the 1965 case of Griswold v. Connecticut -- a landmark ruling establishing the right to privacy -- was "rightly decided."

But when the White House took exception to Specter's comments, the Pennsylvania Republican released a statement saying Miers later called him to tell him he had "misunderstood" her answer. (Full story)

Specter said Miers, in the later phone call, told him she had not taken a position on either Griswold or the right to privacy, the legal underpinning for the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion.

Specter's statement did not withdraw his comments about Miers discussing Griswold with him, nor did it offer a correction. But the statement said the chairman accepted Miers contention "that he misunderstood what she said."

Some conservatives have expressed reservations about Miers' nomination, and this latest back-and-forth over the issue of privacy -- the linchpin in abortion rights -- only deepened their doubts.

President Bush's nomination of Miers has divided even his supporters, many of whom had hoped for a nominee with a clear record of opposition to abortion rights.

Reacting to Specter's statements about his conversations with Miers on Griswold, Jan LaRue, chief counsel for the conservative group Concerned Women for America, said she was puzzled because Specter has a reputation for being precise about constitutional law.

"It sounds like he's being gracious. I mean, how could he get that wrong? It sounds funny to me," said LaRue, whose group has raised sharp questions about the Miers nomination. "That's artfully worded, isn't it?

LaRue said she baffled by the idea that there could have a miscommunication over such a seminal privacy case.

"This is going to be interesting to see how clearly she answers questions before the full committee, if we've already (seen) this kind of misunderstanding over something so simple," she said.

Texas justices back Miers
Miers' nomination has failed to attract widespread support from any part of the political spectrum, and the White House on Monday sought to remedy that.

The day kicked off at the White House where President Bush, flanked by six current and former justices of the Texas Supreme Court, addressed reporters.

"They are here to send a message here in Washington that the person I picked to take Sandra Day O'Connor's place is not only a person of high character and integrity but a person who can get the job done," Bush said.

O'Connor, who announced her retirement as associate justice in June, said she would remain on the court until her replacement is confirmed by the Senate.

Bush has described Miers as "a pioneer of law" in Texas, where she was the first woman to become a partner in her Dallas law firm and the first female president of the Dallas and Texas bar associations.

Miers has worked for Bush since 1994, most recently as White House counsel.

The kickoff event at the White House brought endorsements from the Texas contingent.

"Mr. President, we just all want to thank you for this nomination," said John Hill Jr., a Democrat who was chief justice of the Texas Supreme Court from 1985 to 1988 and served with Miers on the Texas Lottery Commission.

"We are excited about it, and we are here to try and let the people of America know what we all know, which is that she is an absolutely fantastic person and a great lawyer and will make a great judge," he said.

"We actually know Harriet Miers; I hope that still counts for something, somewhere," Hill said. "I'd trust her with my wife and my life."

Miers has never served as a judge, but Hill said that is not a critical drawback.

"You get the briefs, you hear the arguments, you study the facts, you study the law and you try to make a square decision based on the law and the Constitution, and I don't think it matters that much whether you were a judge before," he said.

Meetings with senators
Miers has left few clues to her position on the issue of abortion in her previous public posts, which include service on the Dallas City Council and as Bush's lottery commissioner when he was governor of Texas.

Even her membership in an evangelical church has failed to ignite support among anti-abortion activists and conservatives.

In a sign of how much anger the nomination has already generated among conservatives, the chairman of the American Conservative Union wrote an opinion piece saying the Bush administration "will find it difficult to muster support on the right without explaining why it should be forthcoming."

"We've swallowed policies we might otherwise have objected to because we've believed that [Bush] and those around him are themselves conservatives trying to do the right thing against sometimes terrible odds," David Keene wrote in The Hill newspaper.

"We've been there for him because we've considered ourselves part of his team. No more."

Among the 18 senators Miers visited Monday were Democratic members of the Judiciary Committee Charles Schumer of New York and and Dianne Feinstein of California.

After their meeting, Schumer said she "offered very, very little" information on her judicial philosophy and declined to answer questions about her views on cases involving the right to privacy and her work inside the White House.

"I didn't learn answers to so many important questions," he said.

But Schumer said Miers "disavowed completely" a published report that two of her friends in Texas had privately assured conservative leaders that she would vote to overturn Roe v. Wade.

"She said, 'No, nobody knows my views on Roe v. Wade,'" Schumer said. "She said, 'No one can speak for me on Roe v. Wade.'"

Hearings in November
An aide to Specter said Monday the senator hoped to reach an agreement by Tuesday with the committee's ranking Democrat, Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont, to start Miers' confirmation hearings as soon as November 7.

But both Republican and Democratic aides said privately the start date could slip to November 14 because Democrats are pushing for an extra week to review Miers' record.

And Specter told reporters Monday night that the start date for the hearings could also slip to give Miers more time to prepare.

"It is unfair to start the hearings before she's ready," Specter said.

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RealGun
October 18, 2005, 09:19 AM
Is this the BEST person Bush could come up with? Who is he kidding?

His choice to make, not mine.

Those who want to say that it is not all about abortion are not paying attention. Personally I don't care about stacking the Court for an abortion ruling. Two wrongs don't make a right. Congress could address it if they wanted to. It's appalling that they would defer to the Supreme Court. It's also appalling that they would not formally challenge any Justice, when the basis of an opinion was clearly not in the Constitution, certainly when unprecedented. We are all too indirect when we say a Scalia or Thomas would be desirable. The real issue is that some of the Justices should be fired.

lostone1413
October 18, 2005, 10:43 AM
Just plain old common sense should tell you if GWB has made two good picks for the court. No way would GWB pick anyone who isn't in total agreement with him on everything. If you thing GWB is a good leader he made a good pick. If like me you look at him who has done nothing but sell our freedoms down the tubes The two picks s**K.

LAR-15
October 18, 2005, 10:49 AM
How can you tell she is a good pick or a bad pick?

:confused:


She's not even on the bench yet!

Kurush
October 18, 2005, 11:59 AM
I think it's funny that Bush thinks "relaunching" her nomination is going to change anything. The first coat of lipstick didn't make the pig a prom queen, let's try another :rolleyes:

LaRue said she baffled by the idea that there could have a miscommunication over such a seminal privacy case.No pun intended I guess ;)

lostone1413
October 18, 2005, 12:03 PM
How can you tell she is a good pick or a bad pick?

:confused:


She's not even on the bench yet!

You really think GWB would pick someone who doesn't think like he does? That would make no sense.

TheEgg
October 18, 2005, 12:28 PM
I wondered how this very silly nomination ever came about. Then I heard some reports from insiders that this whole thing was decided by Georgie boy, his wife Laura, and Andy Card.

Apparently lack of adult supervision played a big role here.:D

RealGun
October 18, 2005, 12:34 PM
I think it's funny that Bush thinks "relaunching" her nomination is going to change anything. The first coat of lipstick didn't make the pig a prom queen, let's try another :rolleyes:

But then everything Bush does or says is "funny", right? What if it worked? Would there then be some other excuse to be cynical? Given enough time, the people that really have to decide will become more objective I think. I believe Biden is going to be relatively reserved because he is running for President. Whether intentional or not, this can be a setup for an obstructionist, voting no regardless, combative during the hearings, to be perceived as anti-religion, not just pro-abortion rights. Gotcha!

bountyhunter
October 18, 2005, 01:01 PM
Is this the BEST person Bush could come up with? Who is he kidding?She was a "stealth" conservative who Bush KNEW would strike down Roe v Wade as well as propel his RW agenda into the next four decades.

I have zero doubt she is exactly what he and Rove are saying she is, but the humorous part of the equation is that the knee-jerk right wingers are so reactive they wouldn't be satisfied with the "code speak" being issued to give them her credentials.

They want somebody with a proven track record of anti-gay, anti-abortion, anti everything-except-Christian..... but don't understand it would be tough to get such a candidate confirmed.

I think Bush actually did the right thing to feather the RW agenda here and they far right didpsticks screwed it up. If they had just kept quiet they would have gotten the candidate they were looking for.

longeyes
October 18, 2005, 01:11 PM
Bush's pick displays a dismaying parochialism of thought. The best thing would be if Miers withdrew--but I doubt Bush would let her. He is like Charles Foster Kane obsessed with his operatic songbird. She will sing to the bitter end.

I think Bush would be more comfortable as the Duke of Texas.

Kurush
October 18, 2005, 01:41 PM
But then everything Bush does or says is "funny", right?
I did not find the invasion of Iraq especially funny, although his comment that "Saddam Hussein is addicted to weapons of mass destruction" was pretty funny, especially in retrospect. I suppose nominating an imbecile like Gonzales for AG might be seen as funny, but the barrel import ban killed my sense of humor about it.
What if it worked?
What if nominating a lottery commissioner who doesn't understand Griswold v. Conn well enough to not make a fool of herself to Specter worked? As in she becomes the next Clarence Thomas? Maybe she's just playing dumb, and she wrote all those obsequious notes to Bush as a prescient ruse.

Maybe her vapid legal briefs were crafted as a subterfuge, and she was just trying to throw everyone off the scent when she wrote this:
"More and more, the intractable problems in our society have one answer: broad-based intolerance of unacceptable conditions and a commitment by many to fix problems."

Maybe Bush really knows what he's doing... this time... and we should just trust him.

Or maybe he's nominating her for the selfish reason that he has influence over her.

Keep up the faith RealGun, I hope you never start criticizing Bush because if even the official HighRoad GOP Whip gives up on him, we're screwed.

Biker
October 18, 2005, 01:52 PM
If Bush thinks that she's the right person for the job, I'm already 90% convinced that she isn't. I'm to that point.
Biker

RealGun
October 18, 2005, 02:11 PM
if even the official HighRoad GOP Whip gives up on him, we're screwed. - Kurush

I simply challenge those who spout off with negative stuff to be objective. We are frequently unfair if nothing else, certainly disrespectful.

If you think I have no concerns, you haven't been following me...no more objective with me than with Bush. It would seem that every issue has to have a lightning rod, so you have someone to abuse instead of simply stating ideas.

There is nothing particularly wrong with the Miers quote BTW...a bit convoluted maybe but hardly laughable. If you want to mock her, you will.

fourays2
October 18, 2005, 02:13 PM
She was a "stealth" conservative who Bush KNEW would strike down Roe v Wade as well as propel his RW agenda into the next four decades.

I have zero doubt she is exactly what he and Rove are saying she is, but the humorous part of the equation is that the knee-jerk right wingers are so reactive they wouldn't be satisfied with the "code speak" being issued to give them her credentials.

They want somebody with a proven track record of anti-gay, anti-abortion, anti everything-except-Christian..... but don't understand it would be tough to get such a candidate confirmed.

I think Bush actually did the right thing to feather the RW agenda here and they far right didpsticks screwed it up. If they had just kept quiet they would have gotten the candidate they were looking for.


I don't think bush has a RW agenda, I don't know what agenda he has. Also the base is getting pretty tired of "code speak" from the pols, we don't want coded messages we want to hear who, what, when where and how in plain English.

RealGun
October 18, 2005, 02:19 PM
If they had just kept quiet they would have gotten the candidate they were looking for.

Why do so many think it inconceivable that personal religious beliefs would override ones legal judgment, being clear on each and understanding the difference?

Nevertheless, you may be exactly right. Your "RW" was never going to get the virtual guarantee they seem to want here. SCOTUS nominations was what may have created the problem but are not the way to solve it. Congress needs to wake up and take the abortion issue off the table, one way or the other.

Nehemiah Scudder
October 18, 2005, 02:21 PM
Why would Congress do anything about abortion? That issue gets them elected one way or another. Take it off of the table, and they'd actually have to work for a living.

longeyes
October 18, 2005, 02:24 PM
She was a "stealth" conservative who Bush KNEW would strike down Roe v Wade as well as propel his RW agenda into the next four decades.

I have zero doubt she is exactly what he and Rove are saying she is, but the humorous part of the equation is that the knee-jerk right wingers are so reactive they wouldn't be satisfied with the "code speak" being issued to give them her credentials.


Maybe the "knee-jerk right wingers" are interested in more than Bush's agenda versus Hillary's, principles rather than personalities. Maybe we would like to preserve Reason, the Rule of Law, and our Republic. We don't need Bush's bulldog on the court, we need great jurists who understand the basic principles of our seminal documents.

RealGun
October 18, 2005, 02:38 PM
Why would Congress do anything about abortion? That issue gets them elected one way or another. Take it off of the table, and they'd actually have to work for a living.

If abortion was a moot point, wouldn't it be funny to watch everyone scramble, trying to figure out why they were Democrats or Republicans?

Kurush
October 18, 2005, 02:38 PM
I simply challenge those who spout off with negative stuff to be objective. We are frequently unfair if nothing else, certainly disrespectful.I gave Bush the benefit of the doubt for several years after he was elected. Between his insane deficit spending, croneyism, warmongering and now his display of contempt for those who want an originalist nominee, he has long since burned through whatever respect I afforded him at the outset.

If you think I have no concerns, you haven't been following me...no more objective with me than with Bush.I don't "follow" you or anyone, however I do see you attacking every time Bush is criticized.

There is nothing particularly wrong with the Miers quote BTW...a bit convoluted maybe but hardly laughable. If you want to mock her, you will.The quote is absurd in that it manages to both contradict itself and use tautology in the same sentence. It is a tautology to say that if conditions are unacceptable, they can't be tolerated. It contradictiory to say that people are fixing intractable problems. The words "more and more" are absurd because they're modifying two claims, one of which is impossible and the other of which is fixed and eternal. Legal briefs are read by intelligent people for the purpose of resolving legal issues, and vacuous, sophomoric nonsense like that sentence shows a lack of competency.

Nehemiah Scudder
October 18, 2005, 02:51 PM
If abortion was a moot point, wouldn't it be funny to watch everyone scramble, trying to figure out why they were Democrats or Republicans?

It'd be interesting, sure enough.

RealGun
October 18, 2005, 02:57 PM
I don't "follow" you or anyone, however I do see you attacking every time Bush is criticized.

I like to think that "attacking" is the wrong word. I believe I am pretty "high road". All I am trying to point out is that Bush IS ALWAYS criticized...pathologically it would seem. I believe it is absurd to propose that he never says anything right and that his decisions and actions are always wrong.

I am supportive of the people I vote for and will complain only when I have a good reason. If everything isn't always viewed negatively, as in how dare he not be a libertarian or Democrat, I'm okay with much of what goes on. Attacking the President is a blood sport, and I don't care to play.

RealGun
October 18, 2005, 03:02 PM
It is a tautology to say that if conditions are unacceptable, they can't be tolerated. - Kurush

Interesting analysis. It made me think that gun control is unacceptable but is tolerated.

orionengnr
October 18, 2005, 03:45 PM
Meirs is an unknown quantity. I believe it was Longeyes who said that some of us want a known quantity, and what we want is a Constitutional purist, a thinker, not a parrot.
For myself, I want someone who can analyze a situation, listen to arguments, and make the right choice from a Constitutional standpoint.
Her opinion on Roe v. Wade? I couldn't care less, and I hope that she can seperate her "feelings" from the facts.

thorn726
October 18, 2005, 04:35 PM
i just don't get why people keep trying to make an issue of her not having been a judge before. it gets mentioned in EVERYTHIng

no concept of the system at all.

all judges start out as lawyers.

Biker
October 18, 2005, 04:47 PM
all judges start out as lawyers.[/QUOTE]

True enough, I guess, but although I'm just taking a WAG at this, I suspect that most Supreme Court judges at least had *some* experience as a judge prior to their nomination.
Biker

Kharn
October 18, 2005, 04:54 PM
"all judges start out as lawyers."
True enough, I guess, but although I'm just taking a WAG at this, I suspect that most Supreme Court judges at least had *some* experience as a judge prior to their nomination.
BikerOf the 118 former and current Justices, over 30 had no prior judicial experience. It's a common theme throughout history to occasionally nominate a non-judge (Rehnquest was never a judge) to bring fresh insight to the Court.

Kharn

Kharn
October 18, 2005, 04:55 PM
Dupe

Biker
October 18, 2005, 05:02 PM
Of the 118 former and current Justices, over 30 had no prior judicial experience. It's a common theme throughout history to occasionally nominate a non-judge (Rehnquest was never a judge) to bring fresh insight to the Court.

Kharn
I appreciate the info as I was truly guessing. However, it appears that I guessed right. Only about a third had no experience. I wonder what the ratio would be in modern (1900 on up) times?
Biker

Standing Wolf
October 18, 2005, 06:31 PM
You really think GWB would pick someone who doesn't think like he does? That would make no sense.

In the first place, Bush isn't a conservative, nor does he think like a conservative. In the second, an absence of sence is in no way uncharacteristic of the Bush administration, which seems intent upon out-squandering even the Snopes Clinton régime.

lostone1413
October 18, 2005, 08:50 PM
That is my point. He will pick someone who thinks like he does. It will be people who really care less about our rights.

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