Wednesday, October 19, 2005


Miers According To PP

For the sake of perspective: if you thought the conservatives were up in arms over Harriet Miers (and her nomination to the Supreme Court), have a look at this e-mail I just received from Planned Parenthood. Please note the subject heading:

Interesting, no?

What intrigues me about this is its barely-controlled hysteria. Harrier Miers has demonstrated a bias against abortion rights -- meaning, actually, that she's expressed an opinion on the subject contrary to Planned Parenthood doctrine. (Oh, horrors!) Ditto in re "Miers' draconian views" (that she supports the right to an abortion if it will save the life of the mother??) and "the stealth nature of the Supreme Court nomination process to date" (as if it was unconstitutional for Supreme Court judges to have any opinions of their own, without describing them in detail to PP).

Hardly any context is provided. That goes also for that cute lined-paper photo -- by implication, this is the actual questionnaire filled out in Miers's own hand. (Except that it's typed... and a mimeograph copy, to boot, followed by more questions and answers that don't even pretend to be authentic.)

There's no bona fides for any of this, in short, except that Planned Parenthood says so. Nor does PP address the issue of what the big deal would be, even if all this were true. Is it reasonable for a judge to ascend the bench with known biases? Uh, I'm not aware of any Supreme Court Justice that ever lacked known biases. They're human beings. And if they're good judges, they'll apply the law, regardless of their personal feelings.

Is it possible that Harriet Miers is not a good jurist, and could be expected to rule from the bench based on her personal biases? Sure, it's possible... but if that's what's eating you, why not say that? (Probably because that's not hysterical enough for a fundraising letter.)


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