Monday, October 03, 2005

ACLJ Calls Harriet Miers - President Bush's Nominee to Replace Justice O'Connor - an "Excellent" Choice for the Supreme Court

I remain unconvinced, but enough of this and I could be convinced to change my initial impressions.

((Washington, DC) – The American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), specializing in constitutional law said today that Harriet Miers, the nominee named by President Bush for a seat on the Supreme Court of the United States, is an excellent choice who represents the conservative mainstream of judicial philosophy of interpreting the Constitution, not re-writing it.

“Once again, President Bush showed exceptional judgment in naming Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court to replace Justice O’Connor,” said Jay Sekulow, Chief Counsel of the ACLJ, who argues regularly before the high court and has a pro-life protest case at the high court this term. “At a time when the high court is facing some of the most critical issues of the day – including a number of cases dealing directly with abortion and life issues – the person who replaces Justice O’Connor is critical.

Harriet Miers is an excellent choice with an extraordinary record of service in the legal community and is certain to approach her work on the high court with a firm commitment to follow the Constitution and the rule of law. I have been privileged to work with her in her capacity as White House counsel. She is bright, thoughtful, and a consummate professional and I enthusiastically endorse her nomination.”

Sekulow added: “We look forward to a speedy confirmation process and will work aggressively to ensure that Harriet Miers gets full and fair consideration before the Senate. We call on members of the Senate to reject the partisan political rhetoric and focus on the judicial philosophy of this conservative mainstream nominee.”
Sekulow said the ACLJ

Update I: I will continue to post update information on nominee Miers as it becomes available. This is modestly encouraging.....

Miers Led Bid to Revisit Abortion Stance

President Bush's choice to fill the seat of retiring Supreme Court Justice and moderate abortion rights supporter Sandra Day O'Connor was a leader in an unsuccessful fight to get the nation's largest lawyers' group to reconsider its pro-abortion rights stance.

As president of the Texas State Bar in 1993, Harriet Miers urged the national American Bar Association to put the abortion issue to a referendum of the group's full membership. She questioned at the time whether the ABA should "be trying to speak for the entire legal community" on an issue that she said "has brought on tremendous divisiveness" within the ABA.

Miers was among a group of lawyers from the Texas bar and elsewhere who had argued that the ABA should have a neutral stance on abortion.

Update II: Interesting.......Harriet Miers gave $150 donation in 1989 to a Texas-based group opposed to abortion rights, the group confirmed to CNN. Miers was a Dallas City Council woman at the time.

Kyleen Wright, president of Texans for Life, which was called "Texans United for Life" in 1989, says that although she appreciates the donation, she's "not convinced" that it means that Miers is a committed opponent to abortion rights.

Wright confirms that then-city councilwoman Harriet Miers made a $150 donation to the organization in 1989 and was listed as a "bronze patron" in the program for the group's annual dinner, keynoted by GOP Rep. Henry Hide of Illinois.

Update III Miers on RKBA:

How does a free society prevent" such crimes, she asked. She then explained:

The same liberties that ensure a free society make the innocent vulnerable to those who prevent rights and privileges and commit senseless and cruel acts. Those precious liberties include free speech, freedom to assemble, freedom of liberties, access to public places, the right to bear arms and freedom from constant surveillance. We are not willing to sacrifice these rights because of the acts of maniacs.

Miers, however, rejected the notion that "precious liberties", including "the right to bear arms," should be sacrificed in the name of crime prevention. Quite obviously, she was referring to the "right to bear arms" as an individual right. via Volokh

Update IV: Miers religious affiliation: Harriet Miers has been a member of Valley View Christian Church in Dallas for 25 years, where Hecht (Nathan Hecht, the Texas Supreme Court justice who is a prolife hero for strongly supporting parental notification laws five years ago when a SCOTEX majority was scuttling them) has been an elder. He calls it a "conservative evangelical church... in the vernacular, fundamentalist, but the media have used that word to tar us." He says she was on the missions committee for ten years, taught children in Sunday School, made coffee, brought donuts: "Nothing she's asked to do in church is beneath her." On abortion, choosing his words carefully for an on-the-record statement, he says "her personal views are consistent with that of evangelical Christians... You can tell a lot about her from her decade of service in a conservative church."

Update V: Abortion

A former campaign manager says Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers opposed abortion rights while running for Dallas City Council in 1989.

"She is on the extreme end of the anti-choice movement," said Lorlee Bartos, who managed Miers' first and only political campaign and said they discussed abortion once during the race. "I suspect she is of the same cloth as the president."

White House spokeswoman Dana Perino said she couldn't comment on Bartos' recollection but added that President Bush "does not have a litmus test for his judicial nominees."
Miers served on the City Council from 1989 to 1991,

Bartos said Miers told her she was "pro-choice in her youth" but underwent "a born-again, profound experience" that caused her to oppose abortion.

Ron Key, Miers' pastor since the early 1980s, said his church is anti-abortion. Key recently left Valley View Christian Church to found a new church with Miers and others. Miers was a leader in an effort to persuade the nation's largest lawyers' group to reconsider its pro-abortion-rights stance.

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