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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2005

    Nominee Backed Ban on Abortion in 1989 Campaign

    Well, she might as well stop with all the "evasive" talk and "voting her conscience" and start getting real honest with the answers she gives. Evidence is starting to pop up. As a supreme court judge, she is to make one decision and one decision only when a case comes before her, "Is it Constitutional or Would her decision go against the Constitution." That is what a Supreme Court judge does.

    Lady Mod

    October 19, 2005
    Nominee Backed Ban on Abortion in 1989 Campaign

    WASHINGTON, Oct. 18 - Harriet E. Miers, the Supreme Court nominee, disclosed on Tuesday a 1989 survey in which she supported banning abortion except to protect the life of the pregnant woman. The disclosure alarmed abortion rights supporters but failed to assuage the concerns of some conservative Republicans.

    Ms. Miers's answers to the survey were delivered to the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday as part of her responses to a questionnaire for Supreme Court nominees, in which she emphasized that courts should not make "social policy."

    Because she spent her career as a corporate lawyer before joining the Bush administration, the documents provided the first public glimpse of her approach to the Constitution.

    The 1989 survey, which Ms. Miers filled out for the anti-abortion group Texans United for Life when she was a candidate for the Dallas City Council, constituted the clearest indication yet of her personal views on abortion. It did not ask whether she believed that the Constitution protected a right to abortion.

    "If Congress passes a Human Life Amendment to the Constitution that would prohibit abortion except when it was necessary to prohibit the death of the mother, would you actively support its ratification by the Texas Legislature?" the survey asked.

    Ms. Miers answered yes. She told the group she would support a state ban on abortion, oppose public financing for abortions, participate in "pro-life" events and use her "influence as an elected official" to "promote the pro-life cause."

    The White House was quick to emphasize that Ms. Miers's personal views should not be used to predict how she would rule on any case.

    "The role of a judge is very different from the role of a candidate or a political officeholder," said Scott McClellan, a White House spokesman.

    Ms. Miers, Mr. McClellan said, "recognizes that personal views and ideology and religion have no role to play when it comes to making decisions on the bench."

    Senator Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, chairman of the Judiciary Committee and one of a handful of Republican senators who support abortion rights, declined to comment on Ms. Miers's answers but said he planned to question her closely.

    Senator Dianne Feinstein, a California Democrat and leading abortion rights advocate on the Judiciary Committee, called Ms. Miers's responses to the survey troubling.

    "The concern is whether she is able to look at issues relating to the health of the mother, which is coming before the court, relating to Roe, in an open and unbiased manner," Ms. Feinstein said, referring to Roe v. Wade, the 1973 case that established a constitutional right to an abortion.

    The abortion rights groups Planned Parenthood and Naral Pro-Choice expressed grave concerns.

    But Senator Sam Brownback, a Kansas Republican on the committee who has threatened to vote against Ms. Miers if he fears that she might uphold abortion rights, said the survey did not resolve his concerns. "It is a piece of evidence," Mr. Brownback said, adding that it is not as indicative of her legal views as a judicial opinion or a law review article might have been.

    Senator Trent Lott, a Mississippi Republican who has expressed reservations about Ms. Miers, said, "My questions have been: Is she qualified? Is she competent?"

    "I am not swayed one way or the other on that," Mr. Lott added.

    In response to a committee question about judicial activism, Ms. Miers invoked many of the same themes as Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., but with more emphasis on the limits of the court's power and less emphasis on respect for precedents.

    "Parties should not be able to establish social policy through court action, having failed to persuade the legislative branch or the executive branch of the wisdom of their preferred course," she wrote.

    Many conservatives view Roe v. Wade as just such a judicial override of legislative authority.

    Ms. Miers also offered some assurances to supporters of abortion rights who view Roe v. Wade as settled precedent. Judicial activism, she said, could also occur when courts failed to respect previous decisions.

    "But reconsideration under appropriate circumstances is also necessary," she continued, citing the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education decision that found racial segregation in the public schools unconstitutional.

    Ms. Miers, who is the White House counsel, wrote in the Senate questionnaire that she declined to be considered for the court when Justice Sandra Day O'Connor announced her retirement last spring.

    But after the death of Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist, White House officials began considering her without her knowledge, she wrote. About four weeks ago, roughly two weeks before her nomination was announced, she realized that her "name was under consideration," she said.

    Ms. Miers did not explain why she was willing to be considered the second time. If confirmed, she would fill the seat left by Justice O'Connor, a crucial swing vote on abortion rights.

    Ms. Miers identified only eight cases that she tried to a verdict in a courtroom, and only three cases in which her client or her opponent sought a hearing in the United States Supreme Court. None were accepted.

    Asked to "describe in detail any cases or matters you addressed as an attorney or public official which involved constitutional questions," Ms. Miers only vaguely discussed her work in the White House.

    "I am called upon to advise the president and White House officials on presidential prerogatives, the separation of powers, executive authority and the constitutionality of proposed regulations and statutes," she said.

    Senator Charles E. Schumer, a New York Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, called her answers in the questionnaire "rushed" and unresponsive.

    "To not say anything about her five years in the White House, not anything at all - and there were lots of things that were not privileged - just is very, very troubling," Mr. Schumer said.

    Some of Ms. Miers's conservative critics said they also remained troubled. David Frum, a former White House speechwriter who has called her unqualified, said he was raising money to oppose her nomination.

    Gary Bauer, a prominent Christian conservative, complained of mixed signals about whether Ms. Miers might vote to overturn Roe v. Wade. "This debate is like riding on a yo-yo," Mr. Bauer said. "Will she or won't she? Only she knows for sure."

    Meanwhile, senators puzzled over a disagreement between Ms. Miers and Mr. Specter about their meeting on Monday.

    Mr. Specter, regarded as an authority on constitutional jurisprudence, first told reporters Ms. Miers had agreed that the Constitution protected a right to privacy and embraced precedents that led to Roe.

    But that evening, Ms. Miers called him to say she did not recall making those statements, Mr. Specter said Tuesday.

    "I decided the fair thing to do was to accept her version of events," he said, calling such a discrepancy "a rarity." He said he planned to revisit their conversation at the start of the confirmation hearings "so there is a transcript so that nobody has any disagreements."

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2005

    Re: Nominee Backed Ban on Abortion in 1989 Campaign

    Quote Originally Posted by sojustask
    Well, she might as well stop with all the "evasive" talk and "voting her conscience" and start getting real honest with the answers she gives. Evidence is starting to pop up. As a supreme court judge, she is to make one decision and one decision only when a case comes before her, "Is it Constitutional or Would her decision go against the Constitution." That is what a Supreme Court judge does.

    Lady Mod
    Miers' anti-abortion stance came as no surprise, right? For anyone who believes for a second that Bush did not already know this... well, all I can say to you is that you are hopelessy blinded by your support of this man. :(

    The Democrats and fair-minded Republicans HAVE TO step up and block this nomination. If THEY DON'T, that will tell me that Bush will never be stopped from having his way.. :eek:

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