In what appear to be some of her only public statements about a constitutional issue, Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers testified in a 1990 voting rights lawsuit that the Dallas City Council had too few black and Hispanic members, and that increasing minority representation should be a goal of any change in the city’s political structure.
In the same testimony, Miers, then a member of the council, said she believed that the city should divest its South African financial holdings and work to boost economic development in poor and minority areas. She also said she “wouldn’t belong to the Federalist Society” or other “politically charged” groups because they “seem to color your view one way or another.”
Miers’ thoughts about racial diversity placed her squarely on the progressive side of the 1990 suit, which was pivotal in shifting power in Dallas politics to groups outside the traditional, mostly white establishment.
And some constitutional scholars say that if Miers were to embrace the same views as a justice on the high court, she would fall more in line with the court’s pragmatic, moderate wing than with its doctrinaire extremes.
Now, saying there is under-representation is not the same as advocating affirmative action through district lines, but that seems to be the implication of Miers’s view. That someone wants quota politics for elected officials is troubling enough. That the view is held by the President’s nominee to the Supreme Court is something else altogether.