Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers' footprints on contentious social issues suggest a moderate position on gay rights, an interest in advancing women and minorities and sympathy for anti-abortion efforts. Judging from the Smith & Wesson she once packed, she favors gun rights, too.
Miers' years as a corporate lawyer and White House insider have produced a record so scant that court-watchers are picking through 16-year-old Dallas city council votes and the like to divine how she might come down on constitutional matters.
This is what the nominations process has come down to: playing detective. Instead of a nominee who has a principled stand on how to interpret the Constitution, which we could question to determine the degree to which such principles would be applied, instead we have to figure out if Miers' enrollment in the "jelly of the month club" would determine how strictly she would apply the commerce clause. Lovely.
The AP goes on to report that Miers owned a gun, donated $150 to a pro-life group, met with gay activist groups, and that the root causes of crime were "poverty, lack of mental and other health care, inadequate education and family dysfunction." (Of those, I think the one that has the strongest basis in reality is family disfunction.)
The AP calls Miers an "anti-abortion moderate." In their worldview, those words must seem contradictory (since all the chattering classes know that moderates are always pro-choice). This article screams code words to the liberal left that Miers is a nominee who will move to the left once confirmed. If she's moderate enough on certain matters like gay rights, theories of poverty, and an interest in advancing minorities and women, then the left can conclude that in 5 years, she'll be a solid vote to declare gay marriage a fundamental right, that interventionist policies to advance the poor are constitutional despite property rights or the commerce clause, and that affirmative action quotas are ok.
Miers is no Scalia.