Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Harriet Oh Harriet

Another day, another round of not-so-favorable news coverage for Harriet Miers.

The NYTimes reports that she told Senator Schumer that her friends speaking for her on the conference call (y'know, the ones who said she would "absolutely" overturn Roe) don't know how she would rule on Roe, since "No one knows" how she would rule. She also said she "could not recall" discussing the case with anyone. Ever.

Oh and that questionnaire that was going to be turned over to the Senate yesterday? Not so much. Turns out "early this week" is the new Administration line on that.

Schumer said that Miers refused to offer support or opposition to any specific cases, and said of the meeting in general "I didn't learn answers to so many questions. On many she wouldn't give answers, and many others she deferred, saying, 'I need to sort of bone up on this a little more,' 'I need to come to conclusions.'"

And that was even before the Specter meeting. After her powwow with the Judiciary Committee chairman for almost two hours, Specter made a statement saying that Miers had expressed support for the case of Griswold v. Connecticut, a 1965 decision in which the Court recognized the existence of a right to privacy (Judge Roberts, during his hearings, said that he believes a right to privacy exists under the Constitution, although he declined to note how far he believes that right extends).

Just after he made the statement, Specter got slapped down by the White House, which released another statement saying he had "misunderstood" Miers and that he would be putting out a clarification. He did, and noted that "Miers called him to say that he misunderstood her and that she had not taken a position on Griswold or the privacy issue."

Does Harriet Miers have a position on anything? Except of course for birthday parties, we know how she feels about those. I don't want specific cases, but surely she can agree or disagree that a right to privacy exists in the abstract.

These hearings are going to be some of the most interesting in the modern era. Finally we will get to see Miers before the cameras, answering questions she can't statement herself out of an hour later.


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