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Harriet Miers

27 Oct

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Harriet Miers Withdraws

October 27, 2005 | By | 4 Comments

She’s just withdrawn her nomination, and they are saying that it is because Senators wanted to see papers from her work at the White House.

An attempt at face-saving.

It was the handwriting on the wall that she couldn’t avoid. The Indefensible Speech finished her.

Harriet Miers’ Speech Referencing Abortion

October 26, 2005 | By | 12 Comments

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Harriet Miers

In 1993, Harriet Miers gave a speech to the Executive Women of Dallas. The Washington Post reported this morning that she referenced abortion.

Here’s the relevant passage:

The ongoing debate continues surrounding the attempt to once again criminalize abortions or to once and for all guarantee the freedom of the individual women’s right to decide for herself whether she will have an abortion.

Read for yourself the whole speech.

More later.

* * *

Meanwhile, take a second to VOTE in the Reasoned Audacity Miers poll on the left sidebar. . .

And here’s the longer question I’m interested in. Drop me a note in the comments: does this speech Miers gave influence your opinion?

* * *

UPDATE: How explosive was this speech? The big news of the day was the Ed Whelan piece on NRO in which he called for Miers’ withdrawal after holding a neutral stance. This was followed late in the day by a press release from Concerned Women for America, joining the Withdraw Miers coalition.

And now, an interesting development at Powerline. Earlier today, Paul Mirengoff responded to Ed by saying (loosely quoting here), “Hey, the speech is 12 years old, give the lady a break.” He has now updated that post, after reading the speech carefully, and he, too, is calling for Miers to withdraw.

I’ve also been curious to see how Hugh Hewitt would respond. The speech is “a mess” he concedes, while still maintaining that “under no circumstances” should Miers resign.

Read the speech.

Specter Says He Will Summon Dr. Dobson

October 24, 2005 | By | No Comments

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Dr. James Dobson

Senator Specter said on Face the Nation yesterday that he will probably summon Dr. Dobson to testify to the Judiciary Committee about his conversations with the White House about the Miers nomination.

George Will Levels Both Barrels at Miers

October 24, 2005 | By | No Comments

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George Will

Yesterday, George Will intensified the drumbeat against Miers with “Defending the Indefensible.”

Here’s the bare-knuckled conclusion:

. . .any Republican senator who supinely acquiesces in President Bush’s reckless abuse of presidential discretion — or who does not recognize the Miers nomination as such — can never be considered presidential material. . .

While getting to that conclusion, he made a point that I think is essential to emphasize. Liberals who make this confirmation debate All-About-Roe are being far too simplistic, and seriously misunderstand conservative reasoning:

Thoughtful conservatives’ highest aim is not to achieve this or that particular outcome concerning this or that controversy. Rather, their aim for the Supreme Court is to replace semi-legislative reasoning with genuine constitutional reasoning about the Constitution’s meaning as derived from close consideration of its text and structure. Such conservatives understand that how you get to a result is as important as the result.

Now. While I found Will’s piece to be typically sharp and bracing, others read something else entirely. Over at Big Lizard, Dafyyd thought it was “yawn-inducing” and evidence that Will has entered his “dotage,” arguing that, “This column is a sad chapter in the long twilight denouement of George Will’s career.”

Via John at Powerline, who thinks Dafyyd sends Will’s column to “the trash heap of history.”

Confirmation Conflagration Ahoy

October 19, 2005 | By | No Comments

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Harriet Miers

Hearings to start November 7.

13 Oct

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Harriet Miers and the Federalist Society. Or Not.

October 13, 2005 | By | 2 Comments

Houston, we’ve got a problem. Or, rather, Harriet Miers does.

Remember how much trouble John Roberts got into for being a member of the Federalist Society?

That’s nothing compared to the trouble Harriet Miers is going to be in for NOT being a member.

According to the Drudge Report, based on a transcript of sworn tesimony Miers gave in 1990 in a voting rights case, she testified that she would not belong to the Federalist Society because it was “too politically charged.”

Well, how ’bout the NAACP? They asked her: Is it “too politically charged?”

No.

So.

Wonder who the President’s next nominee will be?

12 Oct

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4 Comments

Are Miers’ Opponents Elitist? And Sexist?

October 12, 2005 | By | 4 Comments

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Judge Janice Rogers Brown

I spoke too soon when I noted last week that the debate over Harriet Miers had focused on her qualifications, not her sex. Like a bad penny, here comes the sexism argument, with the White House claiming that the oposition is rooted in sexism and elitism.

Is it?

You can judge for yourself. With thanks to an anonymous source, following is a list of the names that have become so familiar in recent months: a partial conservative Supreme Court wish-list, with their undergraduate and graduate institutions.

Janice Rogers Brown: Cal State, UCLA — woman, not Ivy League

Michael Luttig, Washington and Lee, U. Va — man, not Ivy League

Alice Batchelder: Ohio Wesleyan, Akron — woman, not Ivy League

Priscilla Owen, Baylor, Baylor — woman, not Ivy League

Edith Clement, Alabama, Tulane — woman, not Ivy League

Edith Jones, Cornell, University of Texas — woman, not Ivy League law school

11 Oct

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What Dr. Dobson Knew

October 11, 2005 | By | 6 Comments

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Harriet Miers

Focus on the Family has just released the transcripts of Dr. James Dobson’s radio program which will air tomorrow morning. (Dobson is a child psychologist who has a daily radio program on 3,000 stations nationwide and another 5,000 internationally.) Dr. Dobson has been one of Harriet Miers’ most vocal supporters, but comments he has made about knowing something that he “couldn’t talk about” and “maybe shouldn’t even know” have generated considerable controversy.

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Dr. James Dobson

This weekend the Democrats began serious talk about asking Dobson to testify during the confirmation hearings about what he knows about Miers.

In response, Dobson taped a radio program to address the question.

Preview: no really big bombshells. But some interesting information, two things in particular I want to address.

So here are some excerpts from the transcripts, with my commentary interspersed.

Dr. Dobson begins by saying that he has two reasons for supporting Miers:

First, because Karl Rove had shared with me her judicial philosophy which was consistent with the promises that President Bush had made when he was campaigning. . .the President promised to appoint people who would uphold the Constitution and not use their powers to advance their own political agenda. Now, Mr. Rove assured me in that telephone conversation that Harriet Miers fit that description and that the President knew her well enough to say so with complete confidence.

This is good that he starts out with the Constitutional issue. Because he has also addressed her religiosity as a positive (and he does in the broadcast, too), some have accused him of applying a “religious test.” I hope in follow-up interviews he will underscore the point that this Constitutional issue was the key one for him — that’s how I read it and I think that’s true, but he does need to emphasize that more.

He then goes on to his second point which was that he talked directly with friends of Miers in Texas. I believe that was already common knowledge. He mentions specifically “a federal judge in Texas,” Ed Kinkeade, and a Texas Supreme Court justice, Nathan Hecht. No news there. Hecht in particular has been all over the media talking about Miers.

Then Dobson goes on to address the question about what he knew that he characterized as something he shouldn’t have known:

Some of the other candidates who had been on that short list, and that many conservatives are now upset about were highly qualified individuals that had been passed over. Well, what Karl told me is that some of those individuals took themselves off that list and they would not allow their names to be considered, because the process has become so vicious and so vitriolic and so bitter, that they didn’t want to subject themselves or the members of their families to it.

I don’t know if I’m buying this. I believe this is what Rove told Dobson, but come on: what does “some” mean? How many? And who? You mean to tell me Janice Rogers Brown took her name off the list? Call me skeptical on this one.

It’s certainly an important point — that the political process involved in getting appointed to any high-level position these days is fraught with incredible stress, unjustifiably so. But to use that as excuse reason for nominating Miers?

But then, here comes the kicker. Dobson goes on to say that Rove made another point about the Miers selection:

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The Women’s Chair?

Courtesy Waco Kid!

He also made it clear that the President was looking for a certain kind of candidate, namely a woman to replace Justice O’Connor.

No, no, no! Come on. Mr. President! I thought we’d already settled this “no women’s chair” issue!

I’m very, very disappointed that Rove would make caving into gender politics so explicit.

Then Dobson goes on to address Miers being a Christian, and a member of a pro-life church — he says these were also issues that he was initially hesitant to address because he knew them prior to these facts becoming common knowledge.

So there are no bombshells here. Those looking for the other shoe to drop will be disappointed.

But I predict the Democrats will still bring Dobson up to testify.

Just for the media circus.

10 Oct

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Rightwing News Blogger Poll on Harriet Miers Nomination

October 10, 2005 | By | 2 Comments

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John Hawkins of Rightwing News polled 200 right-of-center bloggers, including Reasoned Audacity, about the Miers nomination and got 79 responses. He found bad news for the White House:

  • 49% think George Bush made a “terrible” decision nominating Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court.
  • 53% view George Bush “less favorably” as a result of this nomination.
  • 34% think the President should withdraw her nomination.
  • And there’s an even split — 33%/34% think Senators should vote for and against her nomination, respectively.
  • Of course, we probably should concede that bloggers are not terribly representative of the general public — more politically interested, more informed, more opinionated. . .

    But still. I’d argue that bloggers are also a “leading indicator” of sorts that give a pulse check, if you will. And my sense, from talking with “normal” people outside the political bubble this weekend is that these results may, in fact, reflect wider public opinion as well.

    My sense, from my years living and working in Washington D.C. is that this is the way the end begins. . .

    First rule of politics: protect your base.

    09 Oct

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    4 Comments

    Vice President Cheney Disses National Review

    October 9, 2005 | By | 4 Comments

    Spent Thursday night at the 25th anniversary gala for National Review.

    The talk, of course, was Harriet Miers. I did my own informal poll on how it’s trending for her.

    One conservative commentator I asked immediately launched into a fairly detailed, and plausible, scenario which results in the end of her nomination.

    The next one shrugged and dismissively insisted she would be confirmed easily. He wasn’t even particularly interested in alternative scenarios.

    Meanwhile, Charles Krauthammer has come out against her, calling her nomination “scandalous.”

    And Judge Bork, calling it a “disaster on every level.”

    They were both at the gala. As was George Will, who is also opposing Miers.

    Facing that kind of high-level criticism from leaders of conservative thought, I wondered what Vice President Cheney, who was listed as a speaker in the program, would say.

    But he didn’t say anything.

    He didn’t even come.

    A ballroom full of your most prominent critics — a target-rich environment, if you will. And he punted.

    Interesting political strategery.

    # # #

    Jack has more, and the pictures.

    Open Post at Beth’s Vast Right Wing Conspiracy, as well as why Miers might actually be the best nominee.

    Kevin at Wizbang has Carnival of the Trackbacks. . .

    And Mrs. Greyhawk is hosting Open Post this weekend, too.

    Read More