Monday, October 17, 2005

Miers declared against Roe v Wade in 1989

Harriet Miers is sometimes thought to be a stealth candidate on abortion. She's not. She was convinced no later than 1989 that Roe v. Wade was wrong. She has compiled a consistent pro-life record ever since.

1. Miers came out against Roe v. Wade in her 1989 campaign
Louise B. Raggio, an 86-year-old attorney in Texas who has known Miers since her student days at Southern Methodist University, said Miers opposed Roe v. Wade, the 1973 law legalizing abortion, during her 1989 campaign for Dallas City Council.

"She's sort of a born-again Christian," Raggio told Women's eNews. "She opposes it [Roe v. Wade] because of her religious beliefs."

This makes Harriet Miers the first nominee for the Supreme Court since Robert Bork known to openly oppose Roe v. Wade prior to confirmation. Neither Kennedy nor Souter nor O'Connor ever stated they opposed Roe v. Wade.

2. Miers apparently rejected the viability test of Roe
The Supreme Court in Roe ruled that the rights of the fetus can only be balanced against the rights of the mother after viability. But Miers apparently thinks the rights of the fetus have to be balanced against the mother beginning at conception:

"I know she is pro-life," said Hecht, one of the most conservative judges in Texas. "She thinks that after conception, it's not a balancing act -- or if it is, it's a balancing of two equal lives."

The notion that both lives are equal from conception is a direct repudiation of Roe v. Wade.

3. Miers apparently refused to meet with pro-choice Dallas groups
Miers' campaign manager in her race for the Dallas City Council in 1989, Lorlee Bartos, recalled she was surprised to learn that her candidate was opposed to abortion rights.
"I wanted her to meet with a group of pro-choice women, and she said she wasn't pro-choice," Bartos said. "She said she had been pro-choice but had changed her view."

Bartos went on to say: "She is on the extreme end of the anti-choice movement" .

4. Miers was rejected by gay rights groups in 1989 in part over abortion
In Miers' meeting with members of the gay group, Lerro said Miers stated that she opposed abortion, a response that prompted the group to eliminate her from contention for obtaining the group’s endorsement.

5. Miers in 1989 donated $150 to Texans for Life, an anti-Roe pro-life group

6. Miers defended Operation Rescue because "abortion is murder"
"She said, well, I'm sorry, it's murder, and that's that," said Joy Mankoff, founder of a local women's political action network. "There was no room for any discussion."

6. Miers fought the ABA over their pro-abortion policies
An excellent post over at Stone Court shows that this fight was the direct result of the Supreme Court's recent pro-abortion decision:

In 1989, the Supreme Court decided Webster v. Reproductive Health Services, which narrowed, but did not overturn, Roe v. Wade.In response, in 1990, the American Bar Association (the largest lawyer membership organization) took an officially pro-choice position.
Now, I expect that -- if this gets discussed at all -- we will hear about how this was a purely lawyerly position, and that her only concern was that the ABA should not take a position on a controversial issue and that she was trying to respect everyone's views by advocating "neutrality". The context is pretty clear, however. Given the ABA's "overwhelming" support for abortion rights, neutrality was the best abortion opponents could hope for, and that is what Miers chose to fight for.

7. Miers donated only to candidate with 100% pro-life ratings after 1989
Miers made 13 political donations between 1990 and 2000. All of these were to Republicans with 100% pro-life ratings either from Texas or national right to life groups. Included are three donations to Kay Bailey Hutchinson dating from 1997 to June 1999. In this period Hutchinson had a 100% pro-life voting record according to National Right to Life. In October of 1999, Hutchinson announced that she did not support reversing Roe--since then, Miers has not given Hutchinson a single dime.

8. Miers gave to the Nebraska AG who defended the ban on PBA in 2000
In 2000 she gave money to Donald Stenberg, the Nebraska attorney general who defended Nebraska's partial birth abortion law before the Supreme Court. As one blogger put it: “I didn’t know she had given to Sternberg [sic]. The only people who I know from around here who did that were the real activists.” Exactly.

9. Those who know her best state that she would reverse Roe v. Wade
"Based on your personal knowledge of her, if she had the opportunity, do you believe she would vote to overturn Roe v. Wade?"
"Absolutely," said Judge Kinkeade.
"I agree with that," said Justice Hecht. "I concur."

This is in complete agreement with Harriet Miers' public record since 1989.

In 2004 millions of social conservatives voted for President Bush in part because they hoped he would appoint pro-life justices to the Supreme Court. Harriet Miers opposed Roe v. Wade in 1989, and she has been consistently pro-life ever since. She deserves our support.


At Monday, 17 October, 2005, Blogger deignan said...

Trackback: Miers, Raggio, and Roe
I think that this issue may deserve further investigation and comment as it does directly to trying to discern Miers' legal position on Roe which has become more of an issue lately (see update).

At Tuesday, 18 October, 2005, Blogger GrenfellHunt said...

Dear Dan:

K-Lo hasn't published it yet, but the attachment to Miers' questionnaire looks like it resolves definitively the question of whethe Miers is pro-life: she was; and favored a ConAmendment to ban abortion.

At Wednesday, 19 October, 2005, Blogger deignan said...

OK, after research going down the list:

1. Did not "come out" on Roe. What you list is speculation by her mentor that later said that she did not know what Miers would do on Roe:

"She is not pro-choice. She told us so and stood her ground," said Louise Raggio, now 85 and the only woman in the graduating law school class at SMU in 1952. "Sure, it concerns me, because I don't know what she'll do on Roe versus Wade. But I do know that she'll stick to the Constitution."

Miers concurs in her latest quote via Schumer:

“She said nobody knows my views on Roe v. Wade. Nobody can speak for me on Roe v. Wade”

2. Hecht also refuted as per quote above as it pertains to Roe.

Hecht also concurs (while contradicting notes on his statement in the Dobson conference call)

3. OK. S what--it is a campaign and she was going where the votes were in pro-life Dallas.

4. ""

5. "" I'm anti-Roe too and I have no doubt that she would still share M&M's with me (or maybe not).

6. Yet remained as President once refuted. What she really seems to have wanted to do is support "choice" as in the individual's choice to state their opinions democratically--this conclusion is thoroughly consistent with her quote at the time and everything else I know about her. Also it tends to support the idea she favors Roe.

8. Wrong. Miers donated gheavily and frequently to pro-choice Hutchinson

9. Hecht contradicted himself (see update to How do we know Miers is pro-Roe

Also see above.


At Thursday, 20 October, 2005, Blogger GrenfellHunt said...

1. Raggio did not speculate: she said clearly and plainly that HM thought Roe was wrong. If Raggio is uncertain whether HM would REVERSE Roe, that is a separate issue.

2. Per above, the Hecht quotation stands, and he's never retracted it: HM thinks that the life of the fetus is equal to the mother's from the point of conception.

3. Actually, no: Kyleen Wright of Texans for Life has said the exact opposite---pro-lifers were NOT popular at that time in Dallas, and HM was taking political risks in seeking their endorsement.

4. Ditto.

5. The contribution is still significant: HM gave $150 to a group seeking to reverse Roe. Connect the dots.

6. No: she served as Texas Bar head for one year, then continued the fight after serving as one term. Nor does it follow that because she gave up on the fight late in the 1990s that she had a moral obligation to leave.

7. Your note about Hutchinson on 8 was meant to be under 7. :) Actually, HM made three donations to Hutchinson in 1997 and the summer of 1999. During this period, Hutchinson had a 100% pro-life rating from NRLC. In October of 1999, Hutchinson announced that she did not support the reversal of Roe. Since then, HM has given Hutchinson not one dime.

8. The Stenberg contribution is very telling.

9. Hecht and Kinkeade were injudicious in letting the cat out of the bag with the pastors; but it's the logical conclusion of her public record as well.


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