Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Miers on Abortion

This whole thing is so stupid. If we find that Miers is a radical cleric wingnut on abortion rights the liberals won't have her. If we find that she is not a radical cleric wingnut the radical cleric wingnuts won't have her. It really is idiotic and shows how far removed American politics is from politics as it used to be and how very close it is to a kind of civil war using only mental violence. It also shows how all the crap about the balancing effect of the judiciary branch of the government is just that: crap. It's all dirty politics and a terrible waste of energy, money and time.

Yet I see no alternative, and what is at stake here is important: our lives.

In any case, here is what Miers has told us about her views on abortion:

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.

The survey was part of the material sent to the Senate with Miers' Supreme Court questionnaire, according to two people, one a Senate official and the other a conservative Republican consultant working with the White House on her nomination. Both spoke on condition of anonymity, noting the papers are part of the vetting process.

All the usual reservations apply to interpreting this text. But as it was part of her hiring package I think that we should take it seriously.