President and Mrs. Bush Defend Harriet Miers Supreme Court Pick

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Oct 11, 2005   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

President and Mrs. Bush Defend Harriet Miers Supreme Court Pick Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
October 11, 2005

Washington, DC ( — Faced with continued questions from some pro-life advocates about his second selection for the Supreme Court, President and Mrs. Bush appeared on a national television program to defend Harriet Miers’ record and say she’ll be a good justice. The president predicted Miers will be confirmed by the Senate.

"Harriet Miers is going to be confirmed and people will get to see why I put her on the bench," Bush said in a television interview on NBC’s "Today" show.

The Bush’s participated in the program from Louisiana, where they were participating in building a Habitat for Humanity house at a work site in New Orleans.

Bush deflected criticism from some pro-life groups who worry Miers will turn out to be another Justice David Souter, who they thought would be pro-life but ended up backing Roe v. Wade once on the court. The president said Miers won’t budge from her strict constructionist views.

"She won’t change," Bush said. "I mean, the person I know is not the kind of person that is going to change her philosophy and her philosophy is, is that she is not going to legislate from the bench."

Bush said Miers is the most qualified candidate for the job, and Mrs. Bush agreed: "Absolutely. Absolutely."

"She’s very deliberate and thoughtful and will bring dignity to wherever she goes, but certainly to the Supreme Court," Mrs. Bush said. "She’ll be really excellent."

Pro-life groups have mixed views on Miers with some, such as National Right to Life, Christian Coalition and Dr. James Dobson endorsing her. Others, such as the Family Research Council and Concerned Women for America have expressed a cautious optimism

Others, like Mathew Staver, president of Liberty Counsel, a pro-life law firm, want Bush to withdraw Miers’ nomination and pick someone else.

"I am terribly disappointed," Staver said. "Bush has turned his finest hour into a political debacle that threatens to split his conservative base. The reverberations from his decision to nominate Harriet Miers have political consequences, if not corrected, that will haunt the Republican Party for some time."

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.