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October 04, 2005

MIERS AGAINST MAKING GAY SEX LEGAL, AND AGAINST LEGAL ABORTION, IN 1989

Miers2  From a dispatch from the Associated Press that moved late yesterday afternoon but that only a handful of major dailies have bothered to run, we learned that Harriet Miers (left)-- the corporate pitbull lawyer and presidential lapdog Bush appointed to fill Sandra Day O'connor's seat on the Supreme Court -- opposed repeal of Texas' so-called sodomy law in 1989, when she sought and won a seat on the Dallas City Council.

Says the AP, "Miers opposed repeal of the Texas sodomy statute -- a law overturned in 2003 by the court on which she will sit if confirmed -- in a survey she filled out for a gay rights group during her successful 1989 campaign." The survey was conducted by the Lesbian/Gay Coalition of Dallas -- to whom Miers said she didn't want and wouldn't seek their endorsement.

This revelation means that Miers was against the single most significant Supreme Court decision affecting gay people ever to come from the Court. And it also makes a vote for Miers' confirmation by any Democratic Senator utterly inexcusable.

At the same time, today's Dallas Morning News has an interview with Miers' campaign manager in that Council race, who says Meirs also unequivocally opposed making abortion legal. "She is on the extreme end of the anti-choice movement," said Lorlee Bartos, who managed Ms. Miers' first and only political campaign.

Miers' position on the right of gay people to have legal, consensual sexual relations puts her squarely against the position of the current Supreme Court -- and against the position of the Republican Justice she's succeeding. Two years ago, by a 6-3 majority, the Court -- in its landmark decision in Lawrence v. Texas -- nullified the Texas "Homosexual Conduct" law. The law, Chapter 21, Sec. 21.06 of the Texas Penal Code, designated it as a Class C misdemeanor when someone "engages in deviate sexual intercourse with another individual of the same sex," thus prohibiting anal and oral sex between members of the same sex, but not between heterosexuals.

The 6-3 Supreme Court majority held the Texas law unconstitutional, stating clearly that "the Texas statute furthers no legitimate state interest which can justify its intrusion into the personal and private life of the individual." Justice Kennedy, who wrote for the majority, castigated the "stigma" that such laws imposed on gay people, noting that, "When homosexual conduct is made criminal by the law of the State, that declaration in and of itself is an invitation to subject homosexual persons to discrimination both in the public and in the private spheres." Miers' 1989 position would have maintained that invitation to discrimination against same-sexers. The woman Miers is replacing, Justice O'Connor, concurred with the majority to strike down the Texas statute.

In nullifying the Texas sodomy law, the Court wiped all such laws off the books in the 17 remaining states that had not yet repealed them. With one stroke, the Court freed gay people from the stigma of being considered criminals because of whom and how they loved.

It's useful to recall the facts in the outrageous arrest under the sodomy law in Texas that eventually led to the Supreme Court's decision striking down all sodomy laws. In _lawrence_and_tyron_garner 1998, medical technologist John Geddes Lawrence, 60, and street-stand barbecue vendor Tyron Garner, 36, -- an inter-racial couple --were found having consensual anal sex in Lawrence's apartment in the suburbs of Houston between 10:30 and 11 p.m. on September 17, 1998 when a Harris County sheriff's deputy entered the unlocked apartment with his weapon drawn, arresting the two, after a homophobic neighbor -- who'd previously harassed the gay duo -- called in a report to police that the two men were "going crazy" with a gun. This complainant later admitted he'd been lying, and was convicted of filing a false police report and sent to jail for 15 days for having done so. (Above right, Lawrence and Garner celebrate their Supreme Court victory with a supporter).

That such an arrest could be possible in a modern civilized country boggles the mind. Miers' support for criminalizing gay sex -- views she has never renounced -- makes her unfit to sit on the Supreme Court. Moreover, Miers' additional opposition to a woman's right to choose makes it clear she thinks that the state has the perfect right to tell all people what they can or cannot do with their own bodies, and to enforce a moral order on every American.

P.S. Miers is also a union-buster. Jordan Barab's excellent blog Confined Space, about occupational health and safety, labor, and politics, has the goods on how Miers' lawfirm, Locke Liddell & Sapp, the huge (400 member) corporate law firm of which she was co-managing partner, had a large union-busting practice (that went under the more anodyne-sounding name of "union avoidance.") To read the details , click here.

Posted by Direland at 06:44 AM | Permalink

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» Harriet Miers: closer to Coulter than O'Connor from The Disenchanted Forest
According to Joshua Frank, there's enough poop on Harriet Miers to clearly validate her credentials as a card carrying Bushevik. While Miers is touted as a trailblazer for her role at the helm of Dallas-based Locke, Liddell & Sapp, the firm represent... [Read More]

Tracked on Oct 4, 2005 2:50:06 PM

Comments

Not much on my mind right now. I haven't been up to anything. Today was a complete loss. That's how it is. Not much exciting going on these days.

Posted by: disney | Oct 20, 2007 10:24:15 AM

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Posted by: overworked | Nov 13, 2005 5:36:09 AM

The bitch isn't going down. We are going to be stuck with her stinking hiney for the rest of my life.

Posted by: T | Oct 4, 2005 4:07:26 PM

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