What Fresh Hell Is This?

October 19, 2005

"Nobody knows my views on Roe v. Wade"

That's the statement that Sen. Charles Schumer (NY-D) said that Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers made to him in a a closed-door meeting.

On that same day, Judiciary Committee Chairman Arlen Specter (PA-R) claimed that "she believes that there is a right to privacy" in the Constitution (a key underpinning of the Roe v. Wade ruling) and that Miers considered as settled law a 1965 Supreme Court ruling that invalidated a Connecticut law prohibiting the use of contraception by married couples. Then the White House claimed that Miers had not discussed her feelings on Griswold with Specter and Specter's office issued a statement saying, "he misunderstood her and that she had not taken a position" on the 1965 case or the privacy issue.

In weeks past we have had Focus on the Family Founder James C. Dobson claiming that Karl Rove had told him some things he "probably shouldn't know" that led him to believe Miers "will be a good justice," and then later declaring, “Rove didn't tell me anything about the way Harriet Miers would vote on cases that may come before the Supreme Court. We did not discuss Roe v. Wade in any context or any other pending issue that will be considered by the court."

And now we know that:

President Bush's Supreme Court nominee, Harriet E. Miers, pledged support in 1989 for a constitutional amendment that would ban abortions except when necessary to save the life of the woman.

Ms. Miers expressed her support for such an amendment in an April 1989 survey sent out by Texans United for Life. The disclosure virtually guarantees that Ms. Miers will be questioned heavily during hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee on abortion rights and whether she can separate her personal views from legal issues.

As a candidate for a seat on the Dallas City Council, Ms. Miers answered "yes" to the following question: "If Congress passes a Human Life Amendment to the Constitution that would prohibit abortion except when it was necessary to prevent the death of the mother, would you actively support its ratification by the Texas Legislature?"

Ms. Miers answered "yes" to all the organization's questions, including whether she would oppose the use of public money for abortion and whether she would use her influence to keep "pro-abortion" people off city health boards and commissions.
The White House response to this revaluation?

"The role of a judge is very different from the role of a candidate or a political officeholder," Mr. McClellan said of the 1989 document. "What she was doing in that questionnaire was expressing her views during the course of a campaign. The role of a judge is to apply the law in a fair and open-minded way."

What to make of all this?

Easy: they're playing a game of
ThreeCard Monte.

The Right is assured that the Miers Card is anti-choice and the Left is meant to try to chase the Miers Card around and bet our wad that the face of the card resembles Sandra Day O'Conner more than Scalia.

Anyone who has spent any time on the streets of a major city knows that the rubes still fall for this game.

But it's a sucker's bet.

Bush has nominated his FIXER private lawyer to ensure that he doesn't get swept up into the maelstrom if things really go south -- that's her real face value.

Maybe he assumes that she's anti-choice, maybe he knows that she is, maybe he doesn't care.

We don't need to care either what Bush knows or doesn't at this point.

All we need to know is that he's an arrogant SOB who does whatever he wants...invade Iraq...work to dismantle the New Deal...pack his Administration with cronies...whatever the Boy King desires is done.

Whether he does these things because he's an arrogant frat boy who cannot be told "no," or because he's a dyslexic, dry drunk with a Messiah Complex, or because he's some combination of these things matters little.

In this matter alone he has demonstrated his lack of understanding of/fidelity to the US Constitution that he has sworn to defend by imposing a religious test on his pick:

Article VI of the Constitution states that “No religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.” As the New York Sun pointed out recently, it is the single most absolutist and emphatic sentence in the entire Constitution. For those who would say that just because President Bush considered Miers’ religion in nominating her, that doesn’t necessarily mean he was imposing any kind of “religious test,” I would implore you to think of it this way: if part of the reason the President nominated Miers was her religion, then that necessitates the fact that part of the reason other prospects were not nominated was because they did not have the same “quality” of religion that Harriet Miers did. Thus, they were subjected to a religious test by the President in considering them for an appointment to the Supreme Court. This is grossly unconstitutional, and if it is allowed to stand, it will be a tacit admission that the “Religious Test” clause has become outdated and inoperable, and we will be one major step closer to theocracy.
I'm going to assume that Miers has the same finely tuned understanding of our Constitution that our Glorious Leader has -- after all, Miers has stated that Bush, "was the most brilliant man she had ever met."

I'm also going to assume that Miers is anti-choice. I assume that because there's no reason not to and because I don't play Three Card Monte.

I'm going to assume that any person with half a brain gets the irony of the White House crying that Miers religion should not be an issue, as well as the Right's indignation that they aren't completely sure of her stand on abortion when they decried the Democrats' efforts to get Justice Roberts to state his position on that same issue.

All that I want now is for the police to show up and break up this game and scatter the players down the street. In this little analogy, the police are the Democrats with any balls left in Congress. The ones who aren't counseling to sit this one out because the next choice could be worse or because the Right is imploding themselves over this pick.

Does anyone really expect a GOOD choice from Bush?

Do I not have a right to expect my party to take a stand on SOMETHING?

Where's a cop when you need one?


Ol' Froth said...

Well, right now I'm at my computer reading blogs, but it wouldn't matter anyway, since I can't enforce federal statues.

Maria said...

excuses, excuses ;-)

Shawn said...

Color me cynical, but I think the longer this nomination drags on, the more it hurts Wubya. I mean, all one has to do right now is sit back and watch the Right tear into this administration and enjoy a few weeks of schadenfreude.

Of course, once it wears off, it's back to work for the Dems, but right now, it's just so damned fun watching these bozos implode.

Go Harriet! ;)