The Truth, The (Less Than) Whole Truth, & (Almost) Nothing But The Truth About Harriet Miers

The White House does a great disservice to the nation by playing political games with Supreme Court nominations.

No justice worth his or her salt would make such weighty decisions on the basis of such skimpy evidence. But the White House indicates it is no more willing to release “privileged” papers on the current nominee than on the last, even though the Constitution gives the Senate standing equal to that of the President in appointing a justice to the Supreme Court.

As if it weren’t frustrating enough for senators and others on the Left and the Right to have so little information to go on about Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers — who gained and maintained the President’s confidence as counsel over the years by being at all times the epitome of discretion — some of the most crucial information that is being published about her one day is being contradicted the next!

To set the record straight (and I admit to having previously circulated a few reports from such respected sources as The New York Times that have since been retracted in print), here — as best as I can determine — is some of what we do in fact know about the enigmatic Ms. Miers.

Harriet Miers in General

Harriet Miers was raised a Catholic and a Democrat but as an adult became an evangelical Christian (a “meek” “servant” of Jesus) and a Republican.

Harriet Miers, in responding to criticism that she was an ineffective “loner” on the Dallas City Council, said, “I’d like to say I’m not doctrinaire…But I don’t much care what people think.”

Harriet Miers on Women’s Rights in General

Harriet Miers overcame sexual discrimination to become a top attorney in Dallas and the nation.

Harriet Miers on Abortion Rights

Harriet Miers has been an active member of an evangelical Christian church that is very much opposed to abortion rights.

Harriet Miers told the manager of her City Council race that she was not “pro-choice”.

Harriet Miers worked to oppose or impede the American Bar Association from endorsing abortion rights.

Harriet Miers has as one of her closest friends, as her spiritual mentor, and as her sometime lover a famously conservative justice on the Texas Supreme Court, who indicates that Ms. Miers is “pro-life”, as evidenced by her church affiliation as well as by the “pro-life” dinners they have attended together.

Harriet Miers has donated generously enough to an anti-abortion group affiliated with Rep. Henry Hyde to be deemed a “bronze patron” (contrary to an earlier report, which stated she had donated to an “abortion rights” group).

Harriet Miers may or may not have discussed the abortion issue with George W. Bush sometime over their many years together (contrary to widely published reports that he claimed to not remember ever having discussed the issue with her).

Harriet Miers on Gay Rights

Harriet Miers has been an active member of an evangelical Christian church that is very much in favor the the traditional, “biblical” view of marriage.

Harriet Miers supported help for AIDS victims and supported civil rights in general for gay people but opposed repealing the Texas law prohibiting sodomy.

Harriet Miers on Racial & Ethnic Minorities, & Police Power

Harriet Miers actively worked with minority bar groups and actively helped raise money for scholarships for minority students at the SMU law school.

Harriet Miers set aside her initial opposition and (contrary to earlier reports, as I had cited) supported a power-sharing plan on the Dallas City Council that eventually did give African Americans and Latinos more representation.

Harriet Miers on the Dallas City Council apologized on behalf of the city to black protestors who alleged that they were abused by police officers, whose actions Ms. Miers termed “unprovoked and inexcusable.”

Harriet Miers on Poverty

Harriet Miers has been an active member of an evangelical Christian church that does much work to help the homeless and that supports missionaries in other, impoverished countries.

Harriet Miers has done much pro bono legal work for the poor and has actively encouraged other attorneys to do likewise, as in legal clinics in impoverished communities.

Harriet Miers on Business & Consumers

Harriet Miers earned a reputation as an extremely effective attorney representing banks, insurance companies, and such major corporations as Microsoft and Disney in various lawsuits, which she usually settled with as little publicity as possible.

Harriet Miers is an outspoken advocate for “tort reform”, protecting corporations from lawsuits, as by consumers.

Harriet Miers was president of a Texas law firm representing auto dealers accused of taking billions of dollars in kickbacks, when then-Governor Bush signed a law, unique in the nation, exempting the dealers from such lawsuits.

Harriet Miers & George W. Bush

Harriet Miers was appointed by George W. Bush to the Texas Lottery Commission, which was engulfed in scandals before and during her five-year term.

Harriet Miers was reportedly paid $19,000 to investigate the potential scandal of Bush allegedly going AWOL from the National Guard during the Vietnam War, which may or may not have involved paying off a key witness.

Harriet Miers reportedly coordinated legal strategy for the Florida recount in the 2000 Presidential Election.

Harriet Miers was called by Bush “a pit bull in size six shoes.”

Harriet Miers reportedly called George W. Bush “the most brilliant man I have ever met” and reportedly considers him a “genius”.

So how would Justice Miers rule on the issues of the day? You be the judge.

Doug Drenkow

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