Miers's religious views
SLevinson at law.utexas.edu
Tue Oct 4 19:55:45 PDT 2005
>From tomorrow's NYTimes:
In Midcareer, a Turn to Faith to Fill a Void
By EDWARD WYATT <http://query.nytimes.com/search/query?ppds=bylL&v1=EDWARD WYATT&fdq=19960101&td=sysdate&sort=newest&ac=EDWARD WYATT&inline=nyt-per> and SIMON ROMERO <http://query.nytimes.com/search/query?ppds=bylL&v1=SIMON ROMERO&fdq=19960101&td=sysdate&sort=newest&ac=SIMON ROMERO&inline=nyt-per>
..... Ms. Miers, born Roman Catholic, became an evangelical Christian and began identifying more with Republicans than with the Democrats who had long held sway over Texas politics. She joined the missions committee of her church, which is against legalized abortion, and friends and colleagues say she rarely looked back at her past as a Democrat....
To persuade the right to embrace Ms. Miers's selection despite her lack of a clear record on social issues, representatives of the White House put Justice Hecht on at least one conference call with influential social conservative organizers on Monday to talk about her faith and character.
Some evangelical Protestants were heralding the possibility that one of their own would have a seat on the court after decades of complaining that their brand of Christianity met condescension and exclusion from the American establishment.
In an interview Tuesday on the televangelist Pat Robertson's "700 Club," Jay Sekulow, chief counsel of the Christian conservative American Center for Law and Justice, said Ms. Miers would be the first evangelical Protestant on the court since the 1930's. "So this is a big opportunity for those of us who have a conviction, that share an evangelical faith in Christianity, to see someone with our positions put on the court," Mr. Sekulow said.
So what are "our positions"? Can Senators legitimately ask Ms. Meirs what Mr. Sekulow might have been referring to? Can they ask if she's ever conversed with him about the relationship between religious belief and one's view of the Constitution?
. . . . Religion appears to have influenced her views on certain subjects. In a discussion with her campaign manager in 1989, Ms. Miers said she had been in favor in her younger years of a woman's right to have an abortion, but her views evolved against abortion, influenced largely by her born-again religious beliefs, said Lorlee Bartos, a Democratic campaign consultant in Dallas who managed Ms. Miers's City Council campaign.
"She was someone whose view had shifted, and she explained that to me," Ms. Bartos said.
.... But as important as her professional trajectory, friends and family of Ms. Miers say, is the influence of religion on her approach to issues of political and legal importance. After joining Valley View Christian Church, she began teaching a Sunday night class for first, second and third graders at the church, called Whirlybirds.
. . . . "Yes, she goes to a pro-life church," Justice Hecht said, adding, "I know Harriet is, too." The two attended "two or three" anti-abortion fund-raising dinners in the early 1990's, he said, but added that she had not otherwise been active in the anti-abortion movement. "You can be just as pro-life as the day is long and can decide the Constitution requires Roe" to be upheld, he said....
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