Sunday, October 09, 2005

Democrats Come to Miers' Defense

The Washington Post writes in Sunday’s edition that Democrats are coming to the defense of Bush Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers: "All the trashing is coming from the right wing of the Republican Party," Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, said in a conference call with reporters. "I really think it's despicable what they're doing." The Post adds: “Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski, D-Md., accused critics of Miers' nomination of being ‘incredibly sexist. . . They're saying a woman who was one of the first to head up a major law firm with over 400 lawyers doesn't have intellectual heft,’ Mikulski said. ‘I find this a double standard.’”

The Post story comments: “More unusual is the outright praise from some Democrats for the person who would replace retiring Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, a critical moderate vote on abortion, affirmative action and other close rulings.” "I like what I hear so far," said Sen. Mark Pryor, D-Ark. This contrasts with the vocal criticism she has received from conservative Republicans. “Several [conservative] columnists have derided Bush's decision, and some groups have called on the president to withdraw her name,” the Post writes.

To counter the criticism, the White House has “enlisted conservative leaders to testify that Miers would be a reliable vote." But the Post countered: "Sen. Patrick Leahy, the Senate Judiciary Committee's senior Democrat, tried to counter that assurance when he asserted that Miers pledged to be independent when they discussed her nomination. 'I said, Would you disavow people who send out assurances that they know how you're going to vote?' She said, 'Absolutely,' said Leahy. She said, 'I will be my own person, I will be independent. Nobody has the authority or right or ability to tell how I'm going to vote.'"

As they say, politics makes strange bedfellows.

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