Harriet Miers, closet liberal?

Supreme Court nominee Miers' written record includes some liberal opinions.


J.J. Helland
October 14, 2005 8:42PM (UTC)

So what's James Dobson going to think about this?

According to a Los Angeles Times report, back in the early '90s, Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers apparently espoused some progressive views in a monthly column she used to write for the Texas Bar Journal.

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"She praised the benefits of diversity, called for measures that would send more minority students to law schools, and said that just because a woman was the head of the state bar did not mean that 'all unfair barriers for women have been eradicated,'" the Times reports.

Miers was also an "unapologetic defender" of the law profession -- a favorite target of Republicans, who often denounce "trial lawyers" in seeking to score political points with their base.

Will this new information dissuade the president from sticking by Miers, especially since her nomination has roiled so many conservatives and divided the Republican Party? Not for now, anyway. At least that's what White House press secretary Scott McClellan said yesterday. When asked about the possibility of withdrawing Miers' nomination, McClellan said, "No one who knows her record and her qualifications would make such a suggestion."

But with such a meager record available for public scrutiny, no one really knows her thoughts on important legal issues -- if they did, perhaps we would start seeing more people making those kinds of suggestions. As we noted here yesterday, the botched handling of Miers' vetting process has lowered her chances of being confirmed -- notwithstanding the L.A. Times report, which could alienate more of Bush's right-wing constituency.

Dobson is probably thinking the same thing.


J.J. Helland

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

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