Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Miers Supported Ban on Most Abortions

This from the Associated Press and ABC News, The San Fransico Gate and The Guardian:

WASHINGTON Oct 18, 2005 — Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers pledged support in 1989 for a constitutional amendment banning abortions except when necessary to save the life of the mother, according to material given to the Senate on Tuesday.

"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," asked an April 1989 questionnaire sent out by the Texans United for Life group.

Miers checked "yes" to that question, and all of the group's questions, including whether she would oppose the use of public moneys for abortions and whether she would use her influence to keep "pro-abortion" people off city health boards and commissions.

"A candidate taking a political position in the course of a campaign is different from the role of a judge making a ruling in the judicial process." said Jim Dyke, a White House spokesman.

GOI: Hopefully she will not allow her personal view against abortion influence her rulings on settled law such as Roe v. Wade. I think that one of the main questions to ask her during the hearings should be whether or not she DOES view Roe v. Wade as settled law.

I and Chief Justice John Roberts certainly see Roe as settled law since it has been on the books for some 30 years. Also, most Americans believe that abortion should remain legal:

This from ABC News:

On abortion itself, 54 percent of Americans say it should be legal, about the average in polls since 1995. That includes 23 percent who say it should be legal in all cases, and 31 percent who say it should be legal in most cases.

Support for legal abortion is higher in the East (62 percent) and West (61 percent) than in the Midwest (52 percent) or South (46 percent). It jumps above 70 percent among liberals and non-evangelical white Protestants. Most Republicans, conservatives and evangelical white Protestants oppose it, peaking at 78 percent among evangelical white Protestants who attend church weekly (including four in 10 who are opposed in all cases).

Despite their church's stand on the issue, Catholics support legal abortion at the same rate as the broader public — overall 55 percent say it should be legal in all or most cases. However, legal abortion is opposed by 55 percent of Catholics who attend church at least a few times a month.

GOI: This questionnaire appears like the beginnings of a track record for Harriet Miers. Republicans and Democrats alike have been concerned that there was not much of a paper trail. I think that from this questionnaire it is same to assume that she still feels the same way about abortion. Why would a strong evangelical Christian change her views on such a bedrock issue for most Republican conservatives? I suppose she could surprise us all and vote to uphold Roe but It now appears that would be nearly impossible.

This is started to heat up and get interesting.

---End of Transmission---


Chris said...

That's just it James, and I agree with you. Since she has never ruled on anything we have no clue if should would NOT let her personal feelings influence her decisions. As a judge, any judge, personal feelings must be set aside. With Miers we have no proof of any decisions based on argumentive cases. Not to mention that she does not have the mind of a justice either. And has not been involved in the Con Law judicial establishment. I have to say no to Miers.

Blake said...

She's dead in the water. The administration wants the right to believe she's anti-choice and the left to believe she's pro-choice. Instead, both sides are embarassed by the cronyism and hedging that have defined the nomination. I think she'll have to withdraw before it's all over.

crimnos said...

Yep, if this nomination wasn't torpedoed before, it's certainly finished now. This was an incredible botch job, and I have to wonder what the hell the folks in the White House were thinking.

Zen Unbound said...

Wow, James,

Your post reveals a very, very troubling development.

If the Supreme Court 'merely' reversed Roe, then it would be left to the states to each to decide their abortion policy. Most states would still allow abortions AND, as the court ruled this week, would guarantee the right of women [even women in prison!] to go out of state to get an abortion.

If the constitutional amendment that Miers backed was ratified, almost all abortions everywhere in the US would be unlawful. We would be back to the old days: backroom abortions using wire hangers.

I am not so sure that Miers is now dead in the water -- with her nomination aborted by Bush. Now, with this new news, the Republicans are just invidious enough to rally in favor of her.

I suspect there may be many more GOI reports on Miers.

james said...


I too have to say no to miers if this document is valid.

Blake: I don't know if she is dead in the water. I think she will make it to "the hill" and might even get a pass. I agree with Tom here that the Republicans will probably see this news as a GOOD thing and begin to support her.

That being said I hope you are right because I think she SHOULD withdraw her nomination based on her lack of experience and crony ties to Bush.


EXACLTY!! Returning back to the days of the "back alley" abortions and the wire hanger is NOT an option. Legal, safe and rare abortions to me are the only compassionate and logical option.

Yes, I will be following her moves very, very closely.

james said...


Sorry, I missed ya there! GOD I hope you are right that her nomination will be torpedoed

crimnos said...

Well, I could be wrong, but I suspect that the Republican party doesn't ACTUALLY want to do away with abortion. At that point, what becomes of their meal ticket with the fundamentalist vote?

james said...


I agree with ya.

Jessica said...

This nomination could be the cherry that tops the sundae. The White House, plagued by self-created scandal, will have no credibility left.

I don't know if it matters whether or not she will be 'torpedoed.' She'll probably be replaced by someone equally or more proposterous.