In what appears to be some of her only public statements about a constitutional issue, Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers testified in a 1990 voting rights 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.Honestly, who the hell is this woman? Does anybody know? We're supposed to believe she's a conservative, loyal, right-wing evangelical Christian who doesn't like the Federalist Society and supported divesting in South Africa? Frankly, this should ease the anxiety of Dems, as she seems far preferable to someone like Janice Rogers Brown. But this evolving profile is not going to fly with the folks hanging out on The Corner or Southern Appeal, you'd think her rejection of the Federalist Society alone would be grounds for a no vote.
In the same testimony, Miers, then a member of the council, said she believed that the city should divest its South African financial holdings and work to boost economic development in poor and minority areas. She also said she "wouldn't belong to the Federalist Society" or other "politically charged" groups because they "seem to color your view one way or another." [ephasis mine]
Miers' thoughts about racial diversity placed her squarely on the progressive side of the 1990 suit, which was pivotal in shifting power in Dallas politics to groups outside the traditional, mostly white establishment.
And some constitutional scholars say that if Miers were to embrace the same views as a justice on the high court, she would fall more in line with the court's pragmatic, moderate wing than with its doctrinaire extremes.
"There's an acknowledgement in her comments that race matters and is relevant, and from a fairness standpoint, we should acknowledge the impact of a particular political structure on voters of color," said George Washington University law professor Spencer Overton, a voting rights expert. "It's not unlike something you could see Justice Sandra Day O'Connor saying. A rigid quota system may be bad, but diversity is a compelling interest, and we want institutions to reflect society as a whole."
It's too bad Harriet isn't married, otherwise she could save face and turn down the nomination to spend more time with her family. (Yes, I'm aware she has other family, but the excuse is slightly less transparent if it is her husband and/or children. Also, I'm being a little cheeky.)