If U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John G. Roberts' confirmation hearing is any guide, we won't learn anything from Harriet Miers' confirmation hearing. So here are some questions we would like President George W. Bush to answer.
You said, "Trust me." But why should we trust you when experience proves we could not trust the judgment of President Reagan (who gave us Justices Sandra Day O'Connor and Anthony M. Kennedy) or President George H.W. Bush (who gave us Justice David H. Souter)? Are you more trustworthy than Reagan or your father?
You said, "She's not going to change. ... Twenty years from now she'll be the same person, with the same philosophy that she is today." Isn't that claim ridiculous after Miers already made a major change in her philosophy from Democrat (giving personal contributions in the 1980s - when she was age 43 - to former Vice President Al Gore, former U.S. Sen. Lloyd Bentsen and the Democratic National Committee's campaign to elect Michael Dukakis), to Republican in the 1990s (contributing to George W. Bush and others)?
Do you understand why your current supporters are upset that Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., (who voted against the confirmation of Roberts) said he recommended her, while you rejected the recommendations of people who supported you?
Because your supporters voted for you to change the direction of the Supreme Court away from activism and toward constitutionalism, do you understand their sense of betrayal that your two appointments have failed to do that: Roberts for Rehnquist was a non-change, and Miers for O'Connor can reasonably be expected to be another non-change?
When President William Jefferson Clinton appointed Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, it was clear from her paper trail that she was a radical feminist who would surely vote to keep abortion legal. Why do you, Mr. President, insult your supporters who expected you to give us a justice who would be the ideological opposite of Ginsburg?
In presenting Miers as the most qualified person for this Supreme Court appointment, is there any evidence to convince us that she is more qualified than Judges Edith Jones, Janice Rogers Brown or Priscilla Owen?
Because many prominent pro-choice officials belong to churches that are pro-life, such as Reid, Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., Sen. Ted Kennedy, D-Mass., and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, why should we believe Miers is pro-life because that's the position of the church she attends?
And why are Miers' advocates constantly talking about her religion, anyway? Is her religion a qualification for office?
Because your wife, your mother and all the women you have appointed to high office - such as Rice and Republican National Committee Co-Chairman Jo Ann Davidson - oppose overturning Roe v. Wade, how can we assume Miers will be any different?
Do you really think that serving on the Texas Lottery Commission helps the resume of a Supreme Court nominee?
Miers is a corporate attorney who served on the Dallas City Council as a representative of the business community. Can you provide any evidence that she, or the business community, cares about the social issues that conservatives care about, such as the definition of marriage, the Pledge of Allegiance, the Ten Commandments, the Boy Scouts, abortion, euthanasia or the sovereignty issues?
Why do you tout Miers' activity in the American Bar Association when most conservatives regard ABA influence as a negative rather than a positive?
Do you really think that pro-lifers will be convinced that Miers is pro-life because in 1989 she bought a $150 ticket to a dinner at which 30 other Dallas politicians attended in order to be introduced?
Because Miers hasn't written anything memorable or important by age 60, how can we assume she has the capability to write Supreme Court opinions? Is there any constitutional or conservative principle on which Miers ever took a stand?
Because Souter, after one pro-life vote in his first term on the Supreme Court, was ridiculed by the press as "a black hole" from which no opinions emerged, then "grew" left to avoid the scorn of the media, aren't you concerned that Miers, who has never written anything on constitutional issues, might suffer the same fate?
Since O'Connor demonstrated her lack of judicial philosophy by unpredictably switching back and forth, so that the media praised her as the most powerful woman in America, aren't you concerned that Miers' lack of judicial philosophy might take her down the same path?
Why do you offend traditional women by choosing Miers, who helped create and raise funds for a radical feminist lecture series at Southern Methodist Law School that featured as speakers feminists Gloria Steinem and Susan Faludi, former U.S. Rep. Patricia Schroeder, D-Ore., and former Democratic Texas Gov. Ann Richards? What role did Miers play in White House pro-feminist policies about Title IX and women in combat?
Because Miers' chief qualification for high office is that she is your lawyer, aren't you worried about unfortunate parallels between her and President Lyndon B. Johnson's appointment of his personal lawyer, Abe Fortas?
Phyllis Schlafly is a national leader of the pro-family movement, a nationally syndicated columnist and author of Feminist Fantasies.
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