October 22, 2005

Harriet Miers Supports Racial Set-Asides, Quotas

I oppose the Miers nomination.

It is more than clear that Harriet Miers is unqualified. Moreover, it has recently become apparent that she does not exactly share many conservative views. Finally, it is evident that she supports something that is, quite frankly, offensive to the Constitution itself.

According to the Washington Post, Harriet Miers actively supported affirmative action, race-based quotas and reverse discrimination:

As president of the State Bar of Texas, Harriet Miers wrote that "our legal community must reflect our population as a whole," and under her leadership the organization embraced racial and gender set-asides and set numerical targets to achieve that goal.The S upreme Court nominee's words and actions from the early 1990s, when she held key leadership positions as president-elect and president of the state bar, provide the first window into her personal views on affirmative action, an area in which the Supreme Court is closely divided and where Miers could tip the court's balance.....To some conservatives, the types of policies pursued by the Texas bar association amount to reverse discrimination. ...

Miers, the first female president of the Texas bar, vowed in her first interview with the Texas Law Journal as president to "be inclusive of women and minorities." During her tenure, she championed the cause of increasing the number of female and minority lawyers in the bar's own leadership ranks and in law firms across the state, writing that "we are strongest capitalizing on the benefits of our diversity. "Miers was a believer in mentoring programs, but during her tenure she and the board of directors went further, passing a resolution urging Texas law firms to set a goal of hiring one qualified minority lawyer for every 10 new associates. The directors also reiterated support for a policy of setting aside a specific number of seats on the board for women and minorities..."Those are quotas," said Roger Clegg, the general counsel for the Center for Equal Opportunity, a conservative group opposed to affirmative action. The fact that Miers "did not create the quota systems but only perpetuated and endorsed it doesn't make it less disturbing," he said...

John Yoo, a conservative law professor at University of California at Berkeley who served as deputy assistant attorney general during President Bush's first term, said the fact that Miers did not object to the policy "is another worrying sign that her real views on the kind of issues she'll decide on the Supreme Court are not as conservative as President Bush suggests." "When you start setting numbers like that, you can call it a goal or anything else, but it smells like a quota," he said. "The message is pretty clear -- you are encouraging hiring based on race."...

Martin Redish, a professor of constitutional law at the Northwestern University School of Law, said Miers's actions a decade ago, while not definitive, are telling.

"While it is by no means clear how she would vote, it sounds as though she would be amenable to the use of, if not quotas, racial preferences," as a way to achieve diversity, he said.

Read it all. The article goes into detail of her support for racial quotas and racial preferences while serving as President of the Texas Bar Association. For my views on Miers' stand on affirmative action, see this post:

Affirmative action programs actively and unashamedly discriminate against members of one race in favor of another race - thus, offending and trampling upon the fundamental principle of "equal protection".

Affirmative action programs are based upon the theory that past discrimination by the majority race against certain racial minorities justifies currrent discrimination against the members of the majority race. Essentially, these programs are nothing more than "payback" to the minority race for past discrimination by the majority race. As Justice Antonin Scalia correctly opined in Adarand Constructors v. Pena, the concept of a "debtor race" is not compatible with the Constitution's focus on individuals and individual rights.
Jonah Goldberg, one of my favorite columnists, has now officially declared that he is against the nomination of Harriet Miers:

My official position on Miers has been to criticize the selection, but give her the benefit of the doubt until the hearings. In other words, bad pick but she's the nominee so let's give her a shot.

No more.

After reading this story I'm officially against Miers. I'm with the Editors , Will, Frum, and Krauthammer.

It's not just that Miers was in favor of racial quotas -- we'd pretty much known that for a while. It's the fundamental confirmation that she's a go-along-with-the-crowd establishmentarian. The White House says that her enthusiastic support for goals, timetables and quotas at the Bar Association says nothing about her views on government race policies. Yeah, right. She simultaneously thought what she was doing was great and important while also believing it would be unconstitutional if the government did the same thing.

The White House says she's an unchanging rock of principle. Uh huh. So have her opinions held constant since the early 1990s? Or have they shifted with the wind? If she's a rock, I don't want her. If she's a weather vane, I don't want her.

I just don't want her.

Start over.

I agree.
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