Thursday, October 20, 2005

Miers on Proportional Representation

Several bloggers have noted this WaPo story about Senator's reactions to Harriet Miers' questionaire responses. Particularly troubling are these two paragraphs:

Meanwhile, several constitutional law scholars said they were surprised and puzzled by Miers's response to the committee's request for information on cases she has handled dealing with constitutional issues. In describing one matter on the Dallas City Council, Miers referred to "the proportional representation requirement of the Equal Protection Clause" as it relates to the Voting Rights Act.

"There is no proportional representation requirement in the Equal Protection Clause," said Cass R. Sunstein, a constitutional law professor at the University of Chicago. He and several other scholars said it appeared that Miers was confusing proportional representation -- which typically deals with ethnic groups having members on elected bodies -- with the one-man, one-vote Supreme Court ruling that requires, for example, legislative districts to have equal populations.
I wonder if she was perhaps thinking of the 14th Amendment as a whole, which refers to both Equal Protection (in section 1) and proportional representation (section 2). Her comment is still somewhat incoherent, since these provisions are not in the same "clause", but the error becomes somewhat less egregious. Someone with better access to legal research than I have can probably discover whether the case in question would have anything to do with this provision of the 14th Amendment.
(Via Oxblog, Michelle Malkin, Carol Platt Liebau and others)

Update: Other responses to the Miers questionaire include this from James Taranto at Opinion Journal:
The Miers debacle is beginning to remind us of New Coke--a product introduced in an effort to expand market share, which instead infuriated loyal customers. If Bush wants to "save his presidency," the way to do so is clear: withdraw the Miers nomination and reintroduce Court Classic.
This has been the methaphor I have been searching for this past week. Brilliant! Also, I'm thinking the Bush administration will not be too pleased having his name associated with Coke...
(Via Instapundit)

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