Trusting the President on Miers, the Evangelical

The nomination of Harriet Miers has created an amusing bipartisan pout in Washington. She has no record that pegs her judicial philosophy, and nothing has surfaced that assures either conservatives or liberals.

That’s disturbing to “David Frum at NRO, who expresses a common sentiment among conservatives in the last 24 hours.

“But there is no reason at all to believe either that she is a legal conservative or–and more importantly–that she has the spine and steel necessary to resist the pressures that constantly bend the American legal system toward the left. . . .I am not saying that Harriet Miers is not a legal conservative. I am not saying that she is not steely.”

What disturbs Frum and other conservative leaders is that they are being asked to trust the President.

History prevents any bold predictions about what men and women will become when they put on the august robes of the nation’s highest court. Unfortunately, it may be impossible to think of an instance when a justice has drifted to the right.

But I’m choosing to trust President Bush on this, for three reasons:

First, because I believe he understands the importance of righting the Court; and second, because he knows nominee Miers very well. This is not a new face to Bush, vetted by the staff and subjected to a getting-to-know-you session in the Oval Office. Miers has been Bush’s personal attorney, and she’s been a close associate for more than a decade.

Finally, and most intriguing, there are reports that Miers is an evangelical.

J. Grant Swank, Jr writes at the “ArriveNet blog:

“Harriet Miers is said to be a conscientious church-going single. She’s also a workaholic. She’s a determined career woman. She’s trusted by US President George W. Bush. And now she’s been nominated for the highest court in the land. But what is particularly significant is the give-away secret. She’s an “evangelical.”

Focus on the Family CitizenLink includes this:

Former Texas Supreme Court Justice Raul Gonzalez has known the nominee for more than two decades.

“Harriet is an outstanding individual,” he told CitzenLink. “She is a born-again Christian and goes to an evangelical church in Dallas. She is a very, very compassionate and able person.”

And this in the NY Times:

One thing Ms. Miers shares with her boss is a deep faith. She was introduced to Valley View Christian Church in Dallas by Justice Hecht, of the Texas Supreme Court. He was an elder at the church and often plays the organ during Sunday services.

“Harriet has placed her faith in Jesus,” said the Rev. Ron Key, who was the longtime pastor there until recently. “She may have been religious before, but it’s become more of a priority, more of a focus of her life. She has become a strong example of what happens in a person’s life when they come to the faith.”

I’ve heard this from several sources during the last day, but it isn’t something that the White House or Miers will talk up during the confirmation process. It would reassure Christian conservatives, but disturb the secularists who dominate the Democratic Party.

For these reasons, I’m willing to trust Bush on this one.

–James Jewell

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About Jim Jewell

I am a writer and consultant on faith and public life, active for many years in management and communications in the evangelical community. I now work as the director of the nonprofit practice at The Valcort Group (www.valcort.com). Everything on this blog, however, is my personal opinion and is not read or approved before it is posted. Opinions, conclusions and other information expressed here do not necessarily reflect the views of Valcort.
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