Miers deserves strong consideration for Supreme Court
October 4, 2005
If nothing else, we may finally get a conservative evangelical on the U.S. Supreme Court.
Following the confirmation of Chief Justice John Roberts, yet another Catholic, I was beginning to wonder if we would ever see an evangelical nominated for a seat on the U.S. Supreme Court. It seems my desire for such has been met with President Bush’s nomination of Harriet Miers.
While we will learn much more in coming days about Miers, early indications are that she is pro-life and a strict constructionist who will not create law, but faithfully interpret the Constitution. It appears that Miers – like Justices Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas and hopefully Roberts – will correct many of the liberal abuses heaped upon this nation over the past half century. There is no “wall of separation” between church and state in the Constitution, nor does that blessed document provide for personal privacy so unborn babies can be slaughtered.
U.S. Sen. Jim Talent of Missouri within hours of the Miers announcement noted that she has had a “distinguished legal career and much of her professional life has been dedicated to public service.” Talent went on to say that he would support the president’s nominee “provided the person is honest, has a strong record of accomplishment and applies a consistent jurisprudence.”
Early indications suggest Miers, 60, will meet those standards.
She is a member of Valley View Christian Church in Dallas, a non-denominational church known for its conservative theology and belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Some have, in pejorative terms, called it fundamentalist. At any rate, friends say she believes the Bible is literally true.
This would explain why Miers worked (unsuccessfully) to change the American Bar Association’s pro-abortion position to one of pro-life. It would also explain why she has done pro bono work for – and made charitable contributions to – an organization like Exodus Ministries (not to be confused with Exodus International, the organization that helps homosexuals leave that lifestyle). Exodus Ministries helps ex-prison inmates make a successful transition back into mainstream society through a Christ-centered, Biblically sound approach.
Miers has also made donations to organizations like the Christian Women’s Legal Association and Meals on Wheels, where volunteers deliver meals to shut-in senior citizens.
Nathan Hecht, the Texas Supreme Court justice known for his pro-life views, also attends Valley View where he serves as an elder and has known Miers for 30 years.
Her father died when she was a freshman at Southern Methodist University (where she got an undergrad degree in mathematics before going on to law school).
“Look at her commitment in taking care of her (now 93-year-old mother) all these years,” Hecht told Marvin Olasky, editor-in-chief of WORLD magazine. “Look at her tax returns. She tithes, gave a full tithe to the church. Helps out in missions … . These are the kinds of values she shows.”
Ron Key, who has pastored Valley View for 33 years, told Olasky that Miers is a hard-working, humble person.
“She’s helped out with kids, made coffee, furnished doughnuts … she doesn’t draw attention to herself, she’s humble, self-effacing.”
Key went on to tell Olasky that he did not know how strong Miers’ faith was when she joined the church in 1980.
“She came to a place where she totally committed her life to Jesus. She had gone to church before, but when she came to our church it became more serious to her,” Key said, adding that his church is strongly pro-life and believes “in the biblical approach to marriage.”
Liberal Democrats are already charging the president with cronyism (they better be careful lest they risk turning off women) and for picking a person with no judicial experience. Both seem unjustified at this early stage of Miers’ confirmation process that will likely last until Thanksgiving. While Miers has served as both the president’s personal lawyer as well as a legal adviser in the Bush administration, such experience should enable her to bring a unique perspective to the high court.
It is not unusual for presidents to nominate someone from within their administration. Indeed 10 of the last 33 Supreme Court justices were appointed from within the administration they were serving – including Justices Byron “Whizzer” White and William Rehnquist.
Critics are sure to question why Miers made $1,000 contributions to a pair of Democrats: Lloyd Bentsen in 1987 and Al Gore in 1988. It turns out Miers was a Democrat years ago, something that was not unusual because Texas was filled with them until the 1990s. She is absolutely loyal to the president and has supported the administration on a host of issues including tax cuts, Social Security reforms, restrictions on federal spending, national security, education reforms and fighting terrorism. She has helped lead the president’s fight against embryonic stem cell research.
Miers is obviously an outstanding lawyer. She was the first female ever elected president of both the Dallas and Texas Bar Associations. She was the first woman hired by her law firm and was the first women president of her law firm.
In a 2003 interview with the publication, Texas Lawyer, White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card described Miers as being “a quiet, highly respected force and someone who is seen as not having any agenda other than the president’s.”
I like the sound of that. This president has promised to appoint judges like Scalia and Thomas. Miers led the Bush team that picked Roberts. Let us see how the nomination process plays out in the coming weeks, but at this early stage I urge all Missouri Southern Baptists to join me in praying for Miers’ confirmation.