Is Harriet Miers the Right Person for Our Nation’s Highest Court?

Media 10.3.05

In response to President Bush’s nomination of Harriet Miers to fill Justice O’Connor’s swing seat, Wade Henderson, executive director of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, issued the following statement:

“The stakes for this nomination are enormous. The Supreme Court is closely divided on issues involving some of our most basic rights. While her decisions generated criticism from both the left and right, there was never any question as to Justice O’Connor’s role as an independent voice.

As a long-time, close confidant of the president, can Americans count on Harriet Miers to fulfill the role of an independent member of the Supreme Court? Can Americans count on her to protect our most basic rights and freedoms?

Harriet Miers’ record on fundamental issues of civil and individual rights is at best unknown. Unlike John Roberts, Miers has no judicial record. She has spent the bulk of her career in private practice and has worked as the president’s private attorney. She chaired the Texas Lottery Commission, but an appointment to the Supreme Court shouldn’t be a gamble.

Miers has the responsibility and burden to prove that she is well-qualified to sit on our nation’s highest court. Since she is largely a blank slate, it is up to the White House to provide senators with an understanding of what Miers would bring to the Court. The administration must turn over all requested documents to the Senate Judiciary Committee so that senators can make an informed decision on whether Miers has the credentials to sit on our nation’s highest court.

Because this nomination could tip the balance of the Court, we deserve to know where Miers stands on issues important to all Americans.”