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Miers: Could She Be Pro-Choice and Evangelical?

Right wing, pro-life blogger Paul Deignan at Info Theory writes that Harriet Miers can be an evangelical and pro-choice.

Please also note that it is possible to be a good evangelical and pro-choice at the same time. One rationale is that people have free will and that the child is in the hands of God anyway. Another is that this serves a purpose on earth by allowing nonbelievers to eradicate themselves over generations, i.e. that is may be part of God's plan. There are still many other rationalizations that explain why 34% of good evangelicals are pro-choice.

I hope she is one of those 34%, but even if she is not, I believe she will keep her personal religion and her judging separate.

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Harriet Miers' Progressive Side

According to Drudge, the right is in a snit over Harriet Miers refusal to join a conservative group like the Federalist Society. Good for her. Stephen Henderson of Knights-Ridder reported on October 7:

[Miers] also said during her sworn testimony that she would not join an organization like the Federalist Society, a group of conservative intellectuals that is a leading proponent of a strict _ and some say narrow _ interpretation of the Constitution. "I just feel like it's better not to be involved in organizations that seem to color your view one way or the other for people who are examining you," she said.

The article also reports she's progressive on racial issues:

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Dobson's Version of What Rove Said About Miers

Focus on the Family James Dobson aired a broadcast Wednesday disclosing what Karl Rove told him about Harriet Miers the weekend before she was nominated. I agree with Markos of Daily Kos, it sounds like spin.

But we also talked about something else, and I think this is the first time this has been disclosed. Some of the other candidates who had been on that short list, and that many conservatives are now upset about were highly qualified individuals that had been passed over. Well, what Karl told me is that some of those individuals took themselves off that list and they would not allow their names to be considered, because the process has become so vicious and so vitriolic and so bitter, that they didn't want to subject themselves or the members of their families to it.

Crooks and Liars adds its criticism here.

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Right Wing Blogger Survey on Miers

Right Wing News has conducted a non-scientific survey among right-wing bloggers about President Bush's nomination of Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court.

Before summarizing the results, let me just say that I don't think bloggers or Senators should have a fixed opinion of the nomination before the confirmation hearings. No one has heard a word from Ms. Miers yet. She deserves the opportunity to be heard before her nomination is either condemned or championed.

That said, while I'm pleased to see so many right wing bloggers down on Bush, we have to keep the reason in mind: They expected Bush to nominate a right-wing extremist and an ideologue and they don't see one in Ms. Miers.

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Questioning Dobson

by TChris

Karl Rove talked to James Dobson about Harriet Miers before her nomination was announced. Dobson has been telling his followers, with a wink and a nudge, that he has the inside skinny on Miers (information he "probably shouldn't know"). Dobson won't reveal his source or the precise content of his intelligence. At least, he won't reveal it without a subpoena. The New York Times reports,

Senator Arlen Specter, the Pennsylvania Republican who is chairman of the Judiciary Committee, and several Democrats on the committee said Sunday that they were considering calling the evangelical conservative James C. Dobson to testify on what he has been told about Harriet E. Miers, the president's Supreme Court nominee.

Dobson isn't entitled to have double-secret information about Miers. Specter has it right:

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Yet Another View on Harriet Miers

Deepak Chopra, writing at Huffington Post, says Justice Grows to the Left. On Harriet Miers, he makes this excellent point:

In Ms. Miers we seem to have someone who is a blank slate, but whose private inclinations are tolerant, cautious, compassionate to the underprivileged, and politically flexible. On the surface her nomination is unfair, in that she seems to have a private agreement on ideology with the President and no public trail; therefore, she is immune to being examined. Matters are made worse by Pres. Bush's wink-and-a-nod comments implying that she has her marching orders and will be a loyal foot soldier. That demeans both Ms. Miers and the Court itself.

If indeed her flaw is rigid loyalty to the right wing, we are no worse off than if the President had nominated another Scalia. But if Miers grows to the left, which is to say, if she begins to empathize with America's vast, diverse population instead of the rich white males who have determined her fate so far, the country will be well served by her.

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Miers on the Dallas City Council

by TChris

Harriet Miers served one term on the Dallas City Council. A WaPo article summarizes her mixed record.

She would meet with abortion rights advocates and gay rights activists but tell them firmly she did not agree with them. She backed a redistricting plan aimed at electing more minorities even though conservatives called it a quota system. She voted to raise taxes two years in a row, disagreeing with some colleagues who favored deeper budget cuts.

Miers told gay activists that she could not support the repeal of a Texas law banning sodomy. On the other hand, she stated in a questionnaire for the Lesbian/Gay Political Coalition of Dallas that she supported equal rights for gays.

Abortion rights activists asked Miers if she supported an ordinance that protected abortion clinic patients from harassment.

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Differing Views on Harriet Miers

Eric Muller at Is That Legal goes negative on Miers as a result of the RNC conference call I mentioned yesterday. Armando at Daily Kos says Eric makes some good points. The telephone conference was spin (not fact) by Republicans to garner support amongst their own for Miers. I think we should let Ms. Miers speak for herself at the confirmation hearings before deciding whether to support or oppose her nomination.

I prefer Law Prof Marci Hamilton's take - that all indications are that she's a centrist in the mold that George Bush used to be before the radical right got ahold of him. And that she'll stay that way.

As to what kind of judge she would be, Professor Hamilton writes:

In any event, she is clearly not an ideologue who has devoted her life to the goal of overturning Roe....What will happen if (and when) Miers's personal independence is combined with the independence of the judiciary? I think one can expect that she will not follow political guidelines, but rather, keep her own counsel and make her own, independent decisions. One can only wait in tense anticipation to see what Senator Santorum will have to say about having such a woman on the Supreme Court!

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Friday Funnies

by TChris

From Eleanor Clift:

More evidence they’re drinking Kool-Aid in the White House: David Frum, a former White House speechwriter, reported on his blog that [Harriet] Miers once told him that Bush was “the most brilliant man she’d ever met.” What will happen when she has a conversation with Justice Antonin Scalia? Will her head explode?

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RNC Conference Call on Harriet Miers

Crooks and Liars has a sooper-dooper double secret agent who sent him this audio of Ken Mehlman's RNC blogger conference call on Harriet Miers.

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Conservatives Snipe About Miers

by TChris

Children at play:

At one point in the first of the two off-the-record sessions, according to several people in the room, White House adviser Ed Gillespie suggested that some of the unease about Miers "has a whiff of sexism and a whiff of elitism." Irate participants erupted and demanded that he take it back.

The irate conservatives then resorted to the time-honored insult repeller, "I'm rubber and you're glue ..."

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Harriet Miers: Support for Women's Rights

Via a Daily Kos Diary and the Chronicle of Higher Education (source corrected):

For someone both heralded and feared as a potentially conservative voice on the U.S. Supreme Court, Harriet E. Miers has played a key role in exposing college students to some unmistakably liberal ideas.

In the late 1990s, as a member of the advisory board for Southern Methodist University's law school, Ms. Miers pushed for the creation of an endowed lecture series in women's studies named for Louise B. Raggio, one of the first women to rise to prominence in the Texas legal community. A strong advocate for women, Ms. Raggio helped persuade state lawmakers to revise Texas laws to give women new rights over property and in the event of divorce.

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