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:

In what appear to be some of her only public statements about a constitutional issue, Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers testified in a 1990 voting rights lawsuit that the Dallas City Council had too few black and Hispanic members, and that increasing minority representation should be a goal of any change in the city's political structure....Miers' thoughts about racial diversity placed her squarely on the progressive side of the 1990 suit, which was pivotal in shifting power in Dallas politics to groups outside the traditional, mostly white establishment.

One interpretation:

"There's an acknowledgement in her comments that race matters and is relevant, and from a fairness standpoint, we should acknowledge the impact of a particular political structure on voters of color," said George Washington University law professor Spencer Overton, a voting rights expert. "It's not unlike something you could see Justice Sandra Day O'Connor saying. A rigid quota system may be bad, but diversity is a compelling interest, and we want institutions to reflect society as a whole."

...Her testimony reveals practical experience in issues involving the race and class divide _ something none of the other current Supreme Court justices has.

Drudge also points out to a 2005 speech to the Federalist Society, in which Miers praised them for their influence:

“There is a reason White House Counsels have sought out your organization for over twenty years: the influence your organization has developed within the legal society and society as a whole.

As a lawyer for the hardly liberal White House, that's smart politiking. But it is not an indicator she would be beholden to the group as a Judge.

< Phil Spector Seeks Suppression of Incriminating Statements | Miers: Could She Be Pro-Choice and Evangelical? >
  • The Online Magazine with Liberal coverage of crime-related political and injustice news

  • Contribute To TalkLeft

  • Display: Sort:
    Re: Harriet Miers' Progressive Side (none / 0) (#1)
    by theologicus on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:04:57 PM EST
    Some legal commentators have suggested that Roberts and Miers have at least one thing in common. They are loyalists who are not going to hold this administration accountable for torture and other human rights violations. What we are seeing may be an effort to pack the courts with justices who will weaken or even disregard the constitutional limits on executive authority. Placing "detainees" outside the protections of international law evidences a concerted effort to operate outside existing constitutional boundaries. Packing the courts with justices who will go along with the erosion of these basic constitutional limits is not a comforting thought.

    Re: Harriet Miers' Progressive Side (none / 0) (#2)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:04:58 PM EST
    "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," In other words, it's better to avoid exposing one's beliefs because then people might know what you believe. And this bit of political savvy is supposed to be endearing, or a sign of merit? It's best to leave the scene of the crime before the cops arrive. "Don't get caught" is hardly a meritorious point-of-view.

    Re: Harriet Miers' Progressive Side (none / 0) (#3)
    by scarshapedstar on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:04:58 PM EST
    I think we should support Miers. For starters, she's clearly not a Scalia. I'm not sure if the kindergarten teacher thing is an act or not. She could be a simpleton, but she does seem to have risen above, well, being a kindergarten teacher. So maybe she's just shrewd enough to realize that Bush's brain is now so badly withered from the coke and the booze that the only way to communicate with him is through notes resembling those little Valentine's day cards people used to pass around in the "good old days." (George, of course, didn't get any valentines in kindergarten.) Except for her penchant for reading "The Miller's Tale" onstage, or whatever the "public scatology" note was about. Either way, it seems like she might be a somewhat decent human being if and when the Cheney administration stops clinging to power. The problem, of course, is that the Rovians are counting on her to be in the tank for the inevitable Supreme Court battles over their numberless crimes, so they win something if she's confirmed. But if they withdraw her and nominate James Dobson, he'll be just as big a whore and the Taliban Right will welcome him with candy and flowers. And that's no good.

    Re: Harriet Miers' Progressive Side (none / 0) (#4)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:04:59 PM EST
    Posted by scarshapedstar: "I think we should support Miers." Wow, really? She is a bought-and-sold crony of Bush's. ANY person of some weight in the legal world will AT LEAST bring some sense of themselves apart from the self-annointed Illegal Church of Bush. She is an acolyte, a celebrant at the altar of a traitor. I'd rather have an opponent who defined their views and defended them, than another evil Bush snake-in-the-grass who pretends that everything will be la-la-la when the la-la-la comes, as if the nation should ask a person like Miers ANYTHING. The people who commit treason don't get to design (OR REDESIGN) our system of government. The ones who get to set the morality are NOT the ones who kill hundreds of thousands of innocent people because they think they have the right. The whole idea that Bush has the right to pack the Court is total nonsense. He's several impeachments short of fit for the job he inhabits through direct, aconstitutional patronage from THIS VERY SAME COURT! No one from his inner circle is acceptable; under these circumstances, it is NOT business as usual. We are in a Constitutional Crisis -- and for rational people like you, -shaped-, to consent to play along, it's just terrible to see. Bush Must Resign.