Patterico's Pontifications


Harriet Miers vs. The United States Supreme Court

Filed under: Constitutional Law,Court Decisions,Judiciary — Patterico @ 5:00 pm

Harriet Miers:

While I was an at-large member of the Dallas City Council, I dealt with issues that involved constitutional questions. For instance, when addressing a lawsuit under Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act, the council had to be sure to comply with the proportional representation requirement of the Equal Protection Clause.

The Supreme Court:

The Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment does not require proportional representation as an imperative of political organization. The entitlement that the dissenting opinion assumes to exist simply is not to be found in the Constitution of the United States.

Mobile v. Bolden, 446 U.S. 55 (1980) (addressing a voting dilution claim under Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act brought against at-large Commissioners of the Mobile, Alabama Commission).

So: it’s not just pointy-headed legal scholars who say that the Equal Protection Clause does not have a “proportional representation” requirement. If you disagree with that assertion, then you don’t just have a problem with the legal scholars. You have a problem with the Supreme Court.

And yes, I understand the argument that Miers was referring to the “one man person, one vote” rule. That may be. But the Supreme Court quote I just gave you should establish beyond any doubt that Miers’s language was, at a minimum, both 1) sloppy and 2) contrary to a settled understanding of the phrase.

Thanks to commenter Neil J. Lehto.

P.S. As was discussed extensively in John Roberts’s hearings, the holding of Mobile v. Bolden relating to Section 2 of the VRA was superseded by later Congressional amendments. These amendments do not affect the Court’s holdings regarding the Constitution in the slightest.

P.P.S. I await the commentary from those who claimed that the Equal Protection Clause obviously does require “proportional representation”; and/or that only pointy-headed legal scholars, “socialist, group-rights advocating, racial-demagoguery spewing civil rights lawyer[s],” and out-of-touch Con Law geeks would deny that simple truth; and/or who claimed that I was digging myself into a hole by claiming that Miers was either woefully ignorant or hopelessly imprecise. You know who you are. Let’s hear from you. I’d like you to acknowledge that, at a minimum, Miers used misleading and imprecise language.

UPDATE: Thanks to Jonathan Adler at Bench Memos for the link.

If Chuckie Says It, It Must Be False

Filed under: Humor,Judiciary,Morons — Patterico @ 1:51 pm

The strongest evidence yet that Harriet Miers has the votes to be confirmed: New York Senator Chuckie S. has said that Harriet Miers does not have the votes to be confirmed.

Postcards from the Ledge: Wake Up, Beldar! We Have the Evidence That Miers Supported Affirmative Action

Filed under: Judiciary,Race — Patterico @ 12:39 pm

[“Postcards from the Ledge” is a semi-regular feature of this site, detailing revelations about Harriet Miers that have driven your gentle host out onto the window ledge.]

Paul at Power Line writes on the latest revelation that Harriet Miers supported affirmative action set-asides while on the Texas State Bar. Citing a Washington Post article, Paul acknowledges that Miers’s support for affirmative action is a concern. But he also spends a lot of energy downplaying this revelation, not always convincingly. For example:

Despite the breathless tone of the article, there’s not much new here. We’ve understood all along that Miers backs certain forms of race and gender-based preferences. I wrote about this several weeks ago, and I discussed it yesterday on the blogger conference call with Justice Enoch.

Actually, there is something new here. First of all, we now know that Miers supported set-asides. These are quite different from mentoring programs and outreach programs. Those don’t raise my hackles. Set-asides do.

Second, when Paul wrote about this issue several weeks ago, some Miers supporters disputed the conclusion that Miers supported affirmative action. You can trace Paul’s evidence back to a Patterico post. Miers supporters like Beldar disputed the evidence and conclusions of my post at the time. It’s no longer possible to credibly dispute my conclusion: Miers did support affirmative action.


Hugh Hewitt: Will He Give Up?

Filed under: General — Angry Clam @ 10:54 am

[Posted by The Angry Clam]

One of Hugh Hewitt’s few items in his pro-Miers arsenal was his claim that “Republicans are trending heavily toward supporting the President.”

Hey, Hugh, care to tell me what you think of the latest Rasmussen Poll, which has Republican support for the Miers nomination down to 48% from 54%, and general support down at 30%?

I guess that’s trending heavily, I’m just not quite so sure it’s in the direction Hugh thinks it is.

— The Angry Clam

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