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HUMAN EVENTS Asks Senators:Was Miers the ?¢â??¬??Most Qualified?¢â??¬â??¢ Nominee?

Senators not ready to agree with President Bush

Since President Bush nominated Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court on October 3, the White House has released almost no documentation demonstrating her views on constitutional issues or her experience in dealing with them.

Yet, at a press conference October 4, Bush was asked: “Of all the people in the United States you had to choose from, is Harriet Miers the most qualified to serve on the Supreme Court?” He said: “Yes. Otherwise I wouldn’t have put her on.”

HUMAN EVENTS Assistant Editor Amanda Carpenter asked senators this week if they agreed with President Bush that Miers was the most qualified candidate for the Supreme Court.


Do you agree with President Bush that Harriet Miers is the most qualified candidate for Supreme Court?

SEN. MIKE CRAPO (R.-IDAHO): No. I think there were a lot of people who would have been more qualified, would have had more experience dealing with constitutional issues or serving on the courts. She may be qualified, but I do think it’s a little bit of stretch to say she’s the most qualified.


Do you agree with President Bush that Harriet Miers is the most qualified candidate for the Supreme Court?

SEN. LARRY CRAIG (R.-IDAHO): I don’t know Harriet Miers as well as the President does. I’ve had some conversations with her. She’ll be in my office this week. I think she is highly qualified, but I will rest my judgment based on what I hear from her and how she performs before the committee. I think she is a very qualified person, though.


Do you agree with President Bush that Harriet Miers is the most qualified candidate for Supreme Court?

SEN. LISA MURKOWSKI (R.-ALASKA): The President has made that statement. I haven’t looked through all the individual documents he had before him to consider. He has made that statement, and he is standing by it. He has had opportunity to discredit that statement.

I am beginning the process, just like so many of my colleagues are here, to determine the credentials, the credibility. I have to tell you, I’m impressed with what this woman did in a place like Texas, where women weren’t, perhaps, welcomed in the doors of the prestigious law firms. And, if you look at the track record she has built as one woman moving up through a pretty much male-dominated world there, you shouldn’t shy away from those credentials.

I am looking forward to the opportunity to meet her and talk about it. We’ve got about a month to move through the process. I think those that are saying she doesn’t have the credentials and qualifications aren’t giving her a fair shake. The woman hasn’t even had the chance to open her mouth at a hearing. Let’s wait.


Do you agree with President Bush that Harriet Miers is the most qualified candidate for the Supreme Court?

SEN. ORRIN HATCH (R.-UTAH): I don’t think he really said that. I actually think he basically said she is very qualified, and I agree that she is highly qualified for this position. I know her very well. I’ve spent hours with her, and I believe that she can do a very good job and should make every conservative happy.


Do you agree with President Bush that Harriet Miers is the most qualified candidate for Supreme Court?

SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R.-S.C.): I think that you could make the argument there are people with more—people who are better qualified. I think the question is: Is she qualified? I think the answer is yes. Being qualified is the standard and whether someone is better qualified is very subjective. I trust the President’s decision.


After speaking with her [Harriet Miers] do you agree with President Bush that she is the most qualified candidate for Supreme Court?

SEN. ARLEN SPECTER (R.-PA.): That question is—I’m not going to give you a yes or no, although, [ABC News’ George] Stephanopoulos insists on a yes or no. That question is totally subjective, and there is no way for me to know among the more than 1 million lawyers in America who the best-qualified is.

I respect the judgment the President made among the people whom he was considering, whom I was privy to on reviewing the list with the White House officials. So, nobody can say who the most qualified lawyer in America is.


I wanted to know whether or not you agreed with President Bush that Harriet Miers is the most qualified candidate for Supreme Court.

SEN. RICHARD LUGAR (R.-IND.): I plan to support Harriet Miers.

Do you think she is the most qualified candidate though?

LUGAR: I have no idea. I plan to support his nomination.


Senator Durbin, can I ask you a quick question?

SEN. RICHARD DURBIN (D.-ILL.): Who are you with?

HUMAN EVENTS.

DURBIN: Oh, that right-wing publication?

Yes, we’re asking everyone the same question.

DURBIN: Yeah, OK.

You can answer it however you want.

DURBIN: Yeah, OK.

Do you agree with President Bush when he said Harriet Miers was the most qualified candidate for Supreme Court?

DURBIN: No.


Do you agree with President Bush that Harriet Miers is the most qualified candidate for Supreme Court?

SEN. MEL MARTINEZ (R.-FLA.): I think Harriet Miers is going to make an excellent justice. I’m looking forward to hearing her before the committee, and I think she should be given a fair chance to present her qualifications and experience.


Do you agree with President Bush that Harriet Miers is the most qualified candidate for Supreme Court?

SEN. JOHN THUNE (R.-S.D.): That’s a loaded question. I think that the question we have to answer is: Is she qualified? Is she the most qualified? That’s a subjective, I suppose, question, and I don’t think you’d get the same answer from most people up here. That’s not a very cutting answer.


After speaking with her [Harriet Miers] do you feel she is most qualified to serve on Supreme Court?

SEN. HERB KOHL (D.-WIS.): Again, I don’t think I should be making that kind of a judgment before a hearing, because once you determine they are qualified, you vote for them, right?

Well, Bush said—

KOHL: Unless you, meaning me, bring up a particular political approach and that would be an additional burden on the applicant. But if I think a person is qualified to be Supreme Court justice, and if I say that, it seems to me you are now fairly well down the road to voting for that person, absent some bombshell. So, while it’s a good question, I must say I’m keeping that decision open in my mind.


Do you agree with President Bush when he said that Harriet Miers was the most qualified candidate for Supreme Court?

SEN. JIM BUNNING (R.-KY.): When did he say that?

October 4th, at a press conference.

BUNNING: Probably not.

Any specific reason why?

BUNNING: I don’t know the lady well enough. So, I can’t judge what the President said unless I get to know her better.

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Written By

Miss Carpenter was formerly a congressional correspondent & assistant editor for HUMAN EVENTS. She is the author of "The Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy's Dossier on Hillary Rodham Clinton," published by Regnery (a HUMAN EVENTS sister company).

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