Monday, October 17, 2005
Texas Judges Say Miers Would Overturn Roe v Wade
Two weeks after President Bush nominated Texas crony and White House counsel Harriet Miers to replace the retiring Sandra Day O'Connor on the Supreme Court, the controversy rages on, especially with what allegedly took place the day she was nominated, Oct. 3, during a teleconference between the heads of over a dozen high-profile religious conservative groups and two members of the Texas judiciary who stated she'd move to overturn Roe v. Wade if confirmed. The participants included the Rev. Donald Wildmon of the American Family Association, Dr. James Dobson of Focus on the Family, Gary Bauer of American Values, Richard Land of the Southern Baptist Convention, Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council, Paul Weyrich of the Free Congress Foundation and the Rev. Bill Owens, a black minister, and Justice Nathan Hecht of the Texas Supreme Court and Judge Ed Kinkeade, a Dallas-based federal trial judge.
Much prior focus has been on another call, between Dobson and Karl Rove, in which Dobson was allegedly "assured" by Rove of Miers' anti-abortion position. But new information points to the Oct. 3 teleconference as being the real smoking gun.
The call was to assure the group that Miers is solidly pro-life. As reported today by John Fund in the Wall Street Journal, who has obtained notes that were taken during the conference call, Dobson was asked to introduce Justice Hecht and Judge Kinkeade, informing the group that "Karl Rove suggested that we talk with these gentlemen because they can confirm specific reasons why Harriet Miers might be a better candidate than some of us think." Then, an unidentified voice asked the two men, "Based on your personal knowledge of her, if she had the opportunity, do you believe she would vote to overturn Roe v. Wade?" "Absolutely," said Judge Kinkeade. "I agree with that," said Justice Hecht. "I concur."
If this is true, if any of the participants of the call are asked to testify before the Judiciary committee, and if it is proven that "assurances" were given by Miers, Rove and/or another Bush official, it could spell even further trouble for an already embarrassed and embattled Bush administration.
As for the Texas judges, Kinkeade declined comment and Hecht repeated his public comments that Miers is pro-life but said he could not remember if he told the group that she'd overturn Roe. Andy