She's not worthy

Republican senators express their doubts about whether Harriet Miers is worthy to sit on the Supreme Court bench.

Published October 10, 2005 6:48PM (EDT)

Salon editorial fellow J.J. Helland takes stock of the Miers nomination so far.

The road to the Supreme Court nomination just got a little bumpier for Harriet Miers.

According to a survey conducted by the Washington Times, a total of 27 Republican senators "remain unconvinced" that Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers "is worthy of being confirmed." Many GOP senators say they will reserve their final decisions about the Miers nomination until after her confirmation hearings, scheduled for sometime next month.

The mounting opposition by conservatives to Harriet Miers perhaps makes some sense when you consider some of the mixed messages coming from the Bush administration in her defense.

For example, in a clear attempt to shore up the support of the religious right, Nathan Hecht, a Texas Supreme Court justice who is leading the effort on behalf of the Bush team to mollify the anxieties of conservatives, said on "Fox News Sunday" that "she is pro-life, and she has been for 25 years." But then Hecht curiously added, "a judge is going to take an oath that says I'm going to judge rightly in cases, which means that you have to set aside your personal views in deciding the case."

Wait a second, what does Hecht mean? If Harriet Miers is pro-life like Hecht says she is, what is he trying to say when he claims that a judge has to set aside "personal views" when deciding a case? Arent conservatives hoping that Miers wont set aside her personal views, and eventually overturn Roe v. Wade when given the opportunity?

At least one conservative noted the cognitive dissonance. Gary Bauer, head of the conservative American Values Group, said in response to Hechts remarks that "she sounds a lot likeanother swing vote, which was the last thing we were expecting a conservative president to give us."

By J.J. Helland

J.J. Helland is Salon's editorial fellow in New York.

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