Miers the Liberal

It looks that way.

In what appear to be some of her only public statements about a constitutional issue, Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers testified in a 1990 voting rights lawsuit that the Dallas City Council had too few black and Hispanic members, and that increasing minority representation should be a goal of any change in the city’s political structure.

In the same testimony, Miers, then a member of the council, said she believed that the city should divest its South African financial holdings and work to boost economic development in poor and minority areas. She also said she “wouldn’t belong to the Federalist Society” or other “politically charged” groups because they “seem to color your view one way or another.”

Miers’ thoughts about racial diversity placed her squarely on the progressive side of the 1990 suit, which was pivotal in shifting power in Dallas politics to groups outside the traditional, mostly white establishment.

And some constitutional scholars say that if Miers were to embrace the same views as a justice on the high court, she would fall more in line with the court’s pragmatic, moderate wing than with its doctrinaire extremes.

Now, saying there is under-representation is not the same as advocating affirmative action through district lines, but that seems to be the implication of Miers’s view. That someone wants quota politics for elected officials is troubling enough. That the view is held by the President’s nominee to the Supreme Court is something else altogether.

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Erick Erickson

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5 Comments

  • http://www.aclj.org/News/Read.aspx?ID=1928

    This article explains how the City Council in Dallas was elected at large, which was a method that was used to exclued minorities from elected offices. This was much like what Macon used to have, but we went overboard and expanded to 15 council seats. I think she deserves a pass for going along with what all diverse cities did in the 90s.

  • I agree with Linda, give her a break.

    Give the poor minorities and poor people someone to represent them regarding community issues. It’s trickle up economics, the more good that goes on in these minority and poor communities, the less the welfare and prison systems are kept busy. That equates to tax savings and more GDP. Someone has to do the impossible task of helping these communities out. I don’t expect my council member to help them. I want him to focus on protecting my interests and fortunately, I don’t live anywhere near the minority or poor communities.

    As for the comment about the Federalist Society. Jeez, I didn’t know she said that. That must make legal scholars pretty nervous regarding how she’s going to interpret the constitution. I really thought that Bush would at least have enough sense to put another Federalist Society member on the Court.

    Nevertheless, it’s doubtful that she’ll fit with the pragmatic, moderate wing to me. Bush said he knows her heart. As closely connected to the Bush family as she is, I doubt there will be no influence when pivotal cases come around.

    I saw a political article which showed Miers in her office as a Supreme Court justice. She had next to her a stack of important cases to decide on regarding abortion, etc. She had two phones, one with a plaque on it called the “Bush Line.” On each decision she had in front of her, a sticky note said “Call Bush” “Call Bush” etc.

    That’s probably how it will go.

  • Dear Volper,

    In our town, we have three types of welfare, which is the very poor where 41% of the residents rent and 19% live below the poverty line, then we have the good ole boy corporate welfare elitist that get us into publicly financed ventures where they can put up 20% of the investment and get a 12 to 15 % return on the backs of taxpayers, and then we have a City Council and County Commission with enough elected representatives to represent at least 650,000 people under normal circumstances. But, our County has less than 155,000 residents.

    For those few of us that are employed in a real private job, it is rather depressing. I know this has nothing to do with Harriet Miers, but wanted to let you know what it is like to live in the diverse South!

    I’ll be glad when Harriet gets confirmed. There is more important things going on right now. For instance, we lost some more soldiers in the war, and many people are homeless on the Gulf Coast. These are the important things going on in this Country!

  • I agree with you homelessness is an important issue. But, I think if we continue to give major tax cuts to the rich people, eliminate law suits so that big business can operate without interruption, totally eliminate lawsuits so that injured people can’t sue doctors and insurance companies, virtually eliminate corporate taxes, continue to pad the pockets of the rich in Macon, GA, and support only social programs that are faith based, the wealth will trickle down to the homeless and poor someday.

    News Flash: You’re in the wrong party if you’re out for helping the homeless or the poor. I agree they should be helped, that’s why I provide jobs for them, I tithe my income to my church and attend to soup kitchens during the holidays. I’m paying too much in taxes already to be shelling out more on poor and homeless people.