Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Miers and the Right to Privacy -- Part One

Did Harriet Miers tell Senator Arlen Specter that she believed Griswold v. Connecticut (1965) was "rightly decided"?

He told reporters that in a meeting they had that that's what she said. But now Specter says that Harriet Miers later called him to tell him he had "misunderstood" her answer, and that she has no position on Griswold or a Constitutional right to privacy.

What to make of this? It's possible that she agreed with something Specter said without fully realizing what he was trying to get out of her. Specter says he accepts "that he misunderstood what she said."

Presumably she will decline to answer such specific questions from now on.

According to CNN, Jan LaRue, chief counsel for the conservative group Concerned Women for America, "said she was puzzled because Specter has a reputation for being precise about constitutional law."

"It sounds like he's being gracious. I mean, how could he get that wrong? It sounds funny to me. That's artfully worded, isn't it? This is going to be interesting to see how clearly she answers questions before the full committee, if we've already (seen) this kind of misunderstanding over something so simple," she said.

(Source: CNN)

Senator Chuck Schumer also met with her and got little information about her opinions on specific cases, unsurprisingly. He did say that Miers "disavowed completely" a report that friends in Texas were assuring conservatives that she would vote to overturn Roe v. Wade.

According to Schumer, she told him: "She said, 'No, nobody knows my views on Roe v. Wade. She said, 'No one can speak for me on Roe v. Wade.'"

The hearings for Miers will the most crucial for any nominee in recent history, because we know so little about her views and experience. Senate hearings will probably begin November 14.


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