by Steven Ertelt
October 19, 2005
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — Following a meeting of members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, the date for confirmation hearings to begin on Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers is now official. Members say committee chairman Arlen Specter said the proceedings will begin on the week of November 7.
That date gives the committee and full Senate enough time to debate and vote on Miers’ confirmation bid by the time the Senate breaks for its Thanksgiving recess.
Pro-life Sen. Tom Coburn, an Oklahoma Republican, said Specter pass along the decision to begin the hearings next month to members of the committee this morning. "That’s what the chairman told us," Coburn said after leaving the meeting.
Specter would not confirm the November 7 date but said he planned a press conference for Wednesday to make the official announcement.
Miers’ nomination has come under considerable controversy surrounding the issue of abortion and whether she, her friends, or anyone at the White House promised she would vote to overturn the Roe v. Wade decision that has resulted in more than 44 million abortions.
Miers says she did not and told pro-abortion Sen. Chuck Schumer, a Democrat on the judicial panel, that no one knows how she will vote on the landmark case.
If confirmed, Miers would replace outgoing pro-abortion Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, one of the high court’s 6-3 majority that favors Roe and the deciding vote in a case about partial-birth abortion bans.
The high court this term will hold hearings on cases involving the national ban on partial-birth abortions, a parental notification case from New Hampshire, and a battle between the Bush administration and the state of Oregon on using federally controlled drugs in assisted suicides.
Miers can expect to face tough questions from pro-abortion Democrats on the panel over a survey she completed for Texans United for Life as a candidate for the Dallas city council in 1989. She indicated she favored a constitutional amendment that would prohibit most abortions.
In the questionnaire, Miers also said she opposed using taxpayer money for abortions, would appear at pro-life events and said she would not put pro-abortion people on boards that have influence on the abortion issue.
"This raises very serious concerns about her ability to fairly apply the law without bias in this regard," Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California told the Associated Press about it. "It will be my intention to question her very carefully about these issues."