Harriet Miers Nomination May Turn on Abortion in Senate Committee

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Oct 10, 2005   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Harriet Miers Nomination May Turn on Abortion in Senate Committee Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
October 10, 2005

Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — Whether Harriet Miers is confirmed to the Supreme Court could hinge on her ability to convince two pro-life senators that she will likely overturn the Roe v. Wade decision that ushered in an era of 44 million abortions. Should the pair vote with Judiciary Committee Democrats against her bid, the negative recommendation from the committee to the full Senate could doom Miers’ chances.

Senators Sam Brownback of Kansas and Tom Coburn of Oklahoma have made it clear they may vote against Miers if she doesn’t stand firmly against abortion during her confirmation hearings next month.

Brownback said he would be unable to vote for Miers’ confirmation if she said she believed Roe v. Wade was "settled law."

Should Coburn and Brownback vote against Miers, her nomination wouldn’t fail in committee because, unlike legislation, the final vote rests with the full Senate. However, the judicial panel would recommend that the Senate vote against her during a floor vote.

That could doom Miers’ nomination.

White House officials have been working furiously to build support for Miers in the pro-life community and Miers has already met with many senators. Some pro-life groups are convinced Miers would likely vote to overturn Roe and she’s been endorsed by the Christian Coalition, National Right to Life and Dr. James Dobson of Focus on the Family.

However, Gary Bauer, head of American Values and former presidential candidate, calls Miers a "stealth" candidate who has "no judicial record on things that really matter” such as abortion.

"She sounds to me like another swing vote, which is the last thing conservatives want,” Bauer said on "Fox News Sunday.”

But, Land, spokesman for the Southern Baptist Convention, says pro-life advocates should trust President Bush on Miers because of his strong record of appointing strict constructionists to federal courts.

"He picked a person he’s known for 15 years, and I believe he picked her because he knows her that well, and he knows that she will vote the way he would want her to vote,” Land told NBC’s `"Meet the Press.”

Pro-life groups point to several pieces of new information following Miers’ nomination that show she’s pro-life.

As the head of the Texas Bar Association in the early 1990s, Miers led an effort to change the ABA’s position on abortion from pro-abortion to neutral. She’s described as pro-life by her longtime companion, pro-life Texas Supreme Court Justice Nathan Hecht and by her former city council campaign manager.

Miers donated $150 in 1989 to a Texas pro-life group and attended at least two pro-life banquets. She also attends a strongly pro-life evangelical Christian church and she is described as being very involved in it.