Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Ah, sweet mystery of pro-life

Would Harriet Miers vote to overturn Roe v. Wade if given the opportunity?

The mystery deepened this week. On Monday, Sen. Arlen Specter emerged from a private meeting with the nominee saying she had told him she believes there is a right of privacy in the Constitution and she agrees with the 1965 Griswold v. Connecticut decision that first declared it. Then later in the day, Harriet Miers issued a statement saying the senator had misunderstood her and she had said no such thing.

Then, on Tuesday, the White House gave the Senate Judiciary Committee a candidate questionnaire filled out by Harriet Miers in 1989. The one-page form circulated by a group called Texans United for Life asked candidates -- Harriet Miers was then running for a seat on the Dallas city council -- if they agreed with the group's positions on abortion. Ms. Miers checked the box that said she agreed with the group that there should be a "Human Life Amendment" to the U.S. Constitution to ban abortions in all cases except to save the life of the mother.

But wait, Ms. Miers just filled out a questionnaire for the Senate Judiciary Committee in which she said she has told no one how she would vote if the constitutionality of Roe v. Wade came before her as a Supreme Court justice.

Harriet Miers appears to have had the career of a supreme networker, a chameleon on issues who deftly aligns herself with the views of those in a position to advance her ambitions. The fawning notes she wrote to George W. Bush when he was governor of Texas have a familiar ring to anyone who has watched mediocre middle managers advance their corporate careers.

If that's who Harriet Miers truly is, it's a challenge to guess what she will think about anything once she has lifetime tenure at the top of the federal judiciary. Will she transfer her careerist mindset from seeking promotions to seeking approval? And if so, approval from whom? Harvard law professors? Prominent newspaper editorial boards? Rush Limbaugh?

Who knows?

Wouldn't it be nice to be able to say, "Who cares?"

A constitutional amendment to guarantee a right to privacy in the first trimester of pregnancy and a right to life in the third would constitutionalize Roe v. Wade and put a stop to this nonsense.

Harriet Miers was right about one thing in 1989 -- we do need a constitutional amendment. But there's no reason it has to end privacy rights. It could secure them.

Read more about it in Why There is No Constitutional Right to Privacy, and How to Get One.

Copyright 2005