Tuesday, October 11, 2005

The more I learn about Miers, the more inclined I am to support her.

It's hard to learn much about Miers from the record, but the past does have some clues.

In the early 1990's, Miers served one term on the Dallas City Council. In one controversial vote, she voted in favor of a resolution maintaining sanctions on South Africa, then under an apartheid government.

in 1991, Miers voted in favor of a council resolution reaffirming economic sanctions Dallas had imposed against South Africa, then under a white minority-rule apartheid government. The council adopted the resolution by a 6-2 vote with three absences.

At the time, President George H.W. Bush was considering repealing federal economic sanctions against the country.

A 1989 city ordinance prohibited Dallas government from buying goods that originated in South Africa or conducting business with firms that sold goods or services there for use by the police, military or prison system.

Also, while on the council, she sponsored a resolution shortly after the massacre in Tianenmen square, in support of the students who demonstrated there.

In one of her first meetings as a council member, Miers sponsored a resolution "recognizing democratic aspirations of students and civilian population in Beijing, China." The council ratified the resolution 10-1...

"It's important for the city to let those people know we realize what they're going through," Miers said at the time, a few weeks after the Chinese government violently quashed pro-democracy rallies centered in Beijing's Tiananmen Square.

Foreign policy issues aside, Miers was one of 10 Dallas council members to unanimously approve a 1989 agenda item that revised minimum height, weight and vision requirements for Dallas firefighters to facilitate "promotion of certain ranks in the Fire Department," particularly women.

The agenda item's title: "Implementation of Fire Department Affirmative Action Plan."

Also, in 1990 Miers testified in a 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.

True, not everything is rosy from a liberal perspective. She Abstained from an otherwise unanimously adopted 1990 resolution urging Congress to pass legislation bolstering AIDS emergency treatment programs and provide funding to local governments for such programs. Before the vote, Miers said she had a conflict of interest, although no record detailing that conflict was available

But the more I read about her background, the more I am convinced she would be an open minded advocate on the court, and not a doctrinaire conservative. And given George W. Bush, it is hard to imagine that he would nominate someone who would give us a better opening than this.

I believe that progressives should line up solidly behind Miers and push to get her nomination through the Senate.


Ryan said...

If the information is accurate, a bold record indeed. I will limit the snark factor concerning the political sway that the Dallas city coucil has on matters of international importance and get behind your original assertion. The question remains though: is this *really* supreme court material? with the proper research, i could name you hundreds of city council members that voted for the same things. Are they qualified as well?

dorsano said...

I hope and pray that that the Roberts and Miers appointments turn out to be the best of this president's legacy.

Eli Blake said...


I agree that she is not qualified in terms of her judicial background.

However, would you rather have a Michael Luttig type, who is eminently qualified, but who will be a Scalia clone? I'd rather have someone who is at least somewhat open to persuasion and is willing to consider a progressive ideas? And given that the right has put so much effort into defeating her, it is a reasonable assumption that if she doesn't get confirmed, we will see Mr. Bush (who only named her in the first place to avoid a confirmation fight) name a hardline conservative instead (since if a fight is inevitable, he would rather fight his adversaries than his supporters).

So, I think we should push for quick and easy hearings for Ms. Miers.

And yes, there are hundreds of city council members with similar voting records.

But they aren't up for nomination.