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October 04, 2005

Comments

Ryan

True, she was acceptable on gay issues in 1989, but she also used to contribute to Democrats then and had been pro-choice. I'm not suggesting all of these issues overlap, but she has made some significant changes in her political ideology since the late 80's and has admitted it was a result of her conversion to evangelical Christianity. Without a reaffirmation of her position on gay issues it seems more likely that she is ideologically cut from the President's mold.

The Malcontent

I will concede the point that people can change, but based on what I know of her, I don't think there is evidence to support it.

Keep in mind that a key part of the "president's mold" also includes historic funding for AIDS eradication and putative support for civil unions.

Downtown Lad

Why should we be relieved? She not only thought Browers was an acceptable Supreme Court decision, but she SUPPORTED laws that allowed the government to imprison gay people.

Who actually favors these laws? I don't care if it was 1989 - it's still extreme.

The Malcontent

As of a few days ago, wasn't it all but a fait accompli that the President would pick a fire-breather to satiate his base? By those standards, I am overjoyed, and my not-uneducated guess is that Harriet Miers did not become more strident in those 16 years.

David

But your "not-uneducated guess" completely fails to take into account the likeliest effect of her conversion to an evangelical church (one that its own pastor says would be called by others "fundamentalist").

She became quite active in that church in the '90s, in fact. It seems most unlikely that its social teachings would have had zero influence upon her own views.

The Malcontent

Wait, I thought the conservatives were the ones who were supposed to be going batshit over her.

She's a good egg, mark my word.

Aaron

Please remember - this questionaire was completed before she "found jesus" and decided that her democratic values were no longer in line with her new found faith. This lady is dangerous, and essentially the same as putting GWB himself on the court.

AGR

The NY Times says she "found Jesus" in 1979.

Aaron

Yes, but her political alignment with her religious views did not come until the 90's.

Joshua

I think it's sad that we have a nominee so unqualified we're poring over questionnaire's printed on shitty Xerox machines in 1989 for clues as to her beliefs.

I also find it obnoxious that this is considered relevant. What she feels is good policy has no bearing at all (or should not, were she a good nominee, which she is not) on what is Constitutional. She may very well like gays, think that, as a municipal legislator that pro-gay policies are the right thing to enact, but that doesn't mean that will find anti-gay policies unconstitutional. [As, indeed, many of them are not.]

And, Bowers has nothing to do with her stance here. When they ask if the law should be repealed she says "no." She could say "yes" without challenging Bowers -- Texas could have repealed its law at any time -- as for what Miers could have done in Dallas about the issue is less clear. And, in any event, Constitutional history shows that Bowers and Lawrence could be viewed differently -- as by O'Connor for instance, who voted to invalidate Texas's law but not Georgia's, based on her reading of the equal protection clause and not substantive due process.

The Malcontent

Joshua, do you think this President could have gotten any nominee with any sort of paper trail past the current Senate minority?

Joshua

Perhaps not, though Roberts did have clear views, he just managed to sneak around them. No one doubts he's a conservative jurist. But he's clearly qualified. And, listen, I'm a liberal but that won't stop me from being angry at my own leadership for being so foolish on this whole matter. We aren't entirely to blame -- it's the Christian Right that pushed the judiciary into the limelight in the late 90s, but the liberal response has been no less thick-headed.

I'd rather an honest fight over Mike McConnell than a charade of a fight over a woman with no qualifications for the office. I doubt even President Bush knows what this woman's philosophy is.

The Malcontent

I don't think Roberts had much of an established record. His time on the bench was too short to accurately assess him. And he was no more forthcoming than Ruth Ginsburg was in establishing "clear views."

I also don't think lack of a papertrail or lack of answers to inappropriate questions by Senators -- regardless of which party's nominee it is -- should be a disqualification.

Joshua

Are you honestly trying to tell me that every single US Senator wasn't aware that Ginsburg was had a liberal philosophy? Or that Roberts has a conservative one? Individual issues (like Roe) aside, Roberts legal career is filled with deeply intellectual conservative writing.

So, if having no judicial or major government experience doesn't disqualify someone, and we aren't allowed to ask them about their philosophy, and they've produced no documents attesting to this philosophy, then exactly who could be disqualified? Why have the Senate vote at all? For all we know, Miers has no in-depth legal knowledge, no interest in Constitutional law and no knowledge of it. I'd be happy enough if the Senators at least gave her an impromptu quiz asking her to discuss and analyze, without notes, several major court cases and basic Constitutional theories. Because, for all we know, she hasn't so much as read the Constitution since SMU.

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