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    Tuesday, October 04, 2005

    Ms. Miers, Esq.

    Miers's profile on FindLaw.


    *American Bar Association
    Member, Committee on Election Law

    *Women's Foundation of Dallas

    Women's Center of Dallas
    Former Member, Advisory Committee

    *Sarah T. Hughes Award, Women in the Law Section, State Bar of Texas, 1993

    National Award for Leadership and Commitment from Girls Clubs, 1987

    American Jewish Committee, Human Relations Award, 1992

    Wikipedia on Harriet Miers.

    Tidbits of note:

    *Miers attended Southern Methodist University, where she received a bachelor's degree in mathematics (1967) and a law degree (1970). If confirmed, Miers will be the first Supreme Court Justice since Lewis Franklin Powell, Jr. not to have attended a top-ten law school in the U.S. News & World Report university rankings (though Powell received a master's degree from Harvard Law School).

    *Miers is single and has no children.

    *Valley View Christian Church in Dallas was Miers's church from 1980 until she moved to Washington, D.C. to work for Bush. The church is evangelical and independent of any formal denomination. It also holds beliefs and practices that are taught in many churches of the Southern Baptist Convention. While being independent, the church's teachings on salvation through Christ is consistent with orthodox evangelical theology, as is its statement of beliefs.

    When pastor Ron Key was asked about Miers's views, he said, "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." [3] If Miers holds the same or similar beliefs of her former church, then she is likely to be an Evangelical Christian.

    Miers is a former board member of Exodus Ministries, a Dallas-based "non-denominational Christian organization established to assist ex-offenders and their families become productive members of society by meeting both their spiritual and physical needs." [4] It should not be confused with the "ex-gay" ministry Exodus International.

    And most interesting of all:

    According to an article in Salon magazine, October 3, 2005, Miers has called Bush "the most brilliant man I have ever met."

    That's enough for me: DON'T CONFIRM THIS WOMAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    From the lovely Martha Burk, this piece on Tom Paine, titled, of all things, "A Woman, At Least".

    . . . Sandra Day O’Connor was not the swing vote on the court solely because she was a “moderate.” She was the often swing vote because she brought a certain set of experiences to the court, and those experiences caused her to apply a certain lens to the deliberations—a gender lens. She said as much on a number of occasions. In other words, she was sometimes the swing vote not because of her politics or judicial philosophy, but because she has experienced life as what she is—a woman. (Similarly, applying a racial lens to subjects like affirmative action was what made Alberto Gonzales anathema to the conservatives.) . . .

    If the court looked approximately like America, it would have five women and four men, one of the individuals would be Hispanic, and one would be black. To correct the imbalance in representation, this president and future ones should establish a “female first” philosophy as a given. Not only this seat, but the next three, should be filled with females. Whether or not they will also be Hispanic and/or also represent other forms of diversity—disability, religious or geographic—should come second to the gender decision. Like race, these other types of diversity do not set up the zero sum game that characterizes the gender choice, since people of either gender and all races can embody them.

    Why is it, again, that people say wealthy white feminists are dangerous to people of color? And don't even get me started on interpreting the notion that Sandra Day O'Connor "lived as a woman". When are all these women over 50 going to retire (or die) so that we can salvage what tiny scraps of dignity still cling to the word "feminist"?

    Emily Bazelon at Slate, writes a fairly thorough argument that Miers is unqualified: Can anyone really imagine that she'd be the nominee if she weren't a woman and the president's friend and loyal adviser? Cronyism and affirmative action: It's a nasty mix.

    And Tim Grieve's War Room blog worries that Miers is on the extreme when it comes to abortion:

    While everyone else is reading tea leaves about Harriet Miers, a woman named Lorlee Bartos says she doesn't have to. Bartos ran Miers' first and only political campaign back in 1989, and she tells the Dallas Morning News that she knows firsthand about Miers' political views.

    "She is on the extreme end of the anti-choice movement," Bartos says of her former client. "I think Harriet's belief was pretty strongly felt. I suspect she is of the same cloth as the president."

    And, from Free Republic, the lowdown on Miers's views on gay rights:

    Harriet Miers' position apparently was basically what most conservatives believe: That there are no such civil rights as the right to marry someone of the same gender, the right to receive special legal protection in employment or houseing, or the right to commit sodomy. Thus, when asked whether she supports full civil rights for gays, she said she did -- not because she believes in the "special rights" claimed by homosexuals, but precisely because she opposed the notion that such special demands being constitute civil rights. . .

    Miers went on to explictly state that she would not support the repeal of Texas laws which were later struck down by Sandra Day O'Connor and the majority of the U.S. Supreme Court and which prohibited sodomy and other sexual practices of gays and others.

    Miers also declined to support city ordinances which would prevent discrimination against HIV-positive persons in housing or employment. The question did not ask about discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, but rather on the basis of a medical condition, and thus Miers' position was well to the right of the Republican Congress which enthusiastically embraced the Americans with Disability Act.

    When asked whether gays and lesbians should be denied employment by the city of Dallas, she stated that decision should be left up to employers. Again, not only does she implictly reject the notion that PRIVATE employers have the right to refuse to hire someone on the basis of sexual orientation, but she said she would grant PUBLIC employers that ability. Since she was running for City Council, that meant she would not only TOLERATE but even APPROVE of such denials, since the City Council would have the authority to establish hiring conditions.


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