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October 20, 2005
Spotlight on Miers' 'Inadequate and Insulting' Answers
by Scott Ott

(2005-10-20) -- Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers has ignited another firestorm on Capitol Hill with her 'inadequate and insulting' written answers to several questions from the Senate Judiciary Committee, according to unnamed Senate sources.

Within her 57-page response to the committee's questionnaire, Miss Miers deals with controversies surrounding her selection process and her views on abortion, judicial activism and the Constitution itself.

In particular, sources say, the following questions and responses will likely draw intense scrutiny when confirmation hearings begin some time in the next two years.

Q: 27.a. Please describe your experience in the entire judicial selection process, from beginning to end (including the circumstances which led to your nomination).

MIERS: "When Justice Sandra Day O’Connor first announced her desire to retire, I immediately recognized that the court would need a sweet, elderly female of indeterminate judicial philosophy, but I never dreamed that that mysterious ingenue could be me.

"I participated in all interviews that ultimately resulted in the President’s selection of Judge John Roberts, asking candidates about their favorite Bible stories and hymns and other controversial issues.

"When Chief Justice William Rehnquist passed away, I participated in consideration of potential nominees, by freshening coffee for top White House officials, including the President, and assisting with donut selection during meetings.

"On the evening of October 2, I had dinner with the President and Mrs. Bush, and that's when the First Lady offered me the Supreme Court job. It was another historic 'first' for me--I'm the first woman ever to be nominated to the Supreme Court by a Republican President whose wife's first name is Laura.

"Despite my concerns about whether I could figure out some of the tricky parts of the Constitution, I accepted the offer because it means steady employment and an opportunity to advance my judicial agenda, whatever that might turn out to be."

Q: 27. b. Has anyone involved in the process of selecting you as a judicial nominee ever discussed with you any legal issue in a manner that could be interpreted as seeking assurances concerning your position?

MIERS: "If you're asking whether I was picked because I would vote to overturn Roe v. Wade, let me say this: Just because the President has worked with me closely for 10 years, during which I was an active member of a conservative evangelical church that considers abortion to be murder, doesn't mean the President knows how I would vote on the narrow constitutional issue of whether women and doctors have a right to privately murder babies.

"Short answer: No, they haven't asked and I haven't indicated my stance on the issue."

Q: 17. Constitutional Issues: Please describe in detail any cases or matters you addressed as an attorney or public official which involved constitutional questions.

MIERS: "If you mean the U.S. Constitution, then every case I ever had was a Constitutional one, since the laws of our nation and the freedoms and responsiblities of individuals and states are dilineated in the U.S. Constitution. Thanks to that excellent document, we're a nation of laws not of men. As you may know, I'm a lawyer (see resumé above). The connection between 'law', 'lawyer' and the Constitution should be manifestly clear to the Senate Judiciary Committee, but let me know if you still don't understand."

Q: 22. Potential Conflicts of Interest: Specifically, explain how you will resolve any conflicts that may arise by virtue of your service in the Bush Administration, as George W. Bush’s personal lawyer, or as the lawyer for George W. Bush’s Gubernatorial and Presidential campaigns.

MIERS: "The President would want me to be fair in such cases, and not to favor him just because he was the best governor ever, and my most favorite boss. So, I will be impartial because that's what the President wants."

Q: 28. Judicial Activism: Please discuss your views on 'judicial activism'.

"I'm a hardworker, and I think that all judges should do their best to be active."

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