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Senators, interest groups weigh in on Miers nomination

[JURIST] Following President Bush's nomination [JURIST report] Monday morning of Harriet Miers [White House profile] to the US Supreme Court, Senators and various conservative and liberal interest groups are weighing in on the selection. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN) [official website] has welcomed the nomination [press release], saying "With this selection, the president has chosen another outstanding nominee to sit on our nation's highest court. Ms. Miers is honest and hard working and understands the importance of judicial restraint and the limited role of a judge to interpret the law and not legislate from the bench." Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) [official website], ranking Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee [official website], released a statement [text] noting Miers' "reputation for being loyal to this president" and adding that the committee would look into whether Miers "would enter this key post with the judicial independence necessary when the Supreme Court considers issues of interest to this Administration."

Meanwhile, Karen Pearl, interim president of Planned Parenthood [advocacy website] expressed concern [press release] about the nomination, saying "we demand she answer questions regarding her views of fundamental reproductive and privacy rights. We expect Miers to make clear her views on reproductive rights during the hearing process, and the Senate should not confirm a nominee who is not willing to do so." NARAL Pro-Choice America called [press release] for Miers to demonstrate that she "will respect and protect our fundamental freedoms, including a woman's right to choose." Jan LaRue, chief counsel for the conservative Concerned Women for America [advocacy website], said the group was giving Miers the benefit of the doubt [CWA press release] because, so far, "President Bush has selected nominees to the federal courts who are committed to the written Constitution." Other conservative groups, however, are calling the nomination a betrayal of conservative voters [Public Advocate press release] and are saying that Miers is a "stealth nominee" similar to Justice David Souter, who was nominated by the first President Bush and who has disappointed conservatives with his votes on social issues. AFP has more. AP provides additional reaction to the nomination.

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Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

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