Wednesday, October 12, 2005

The Religion Issue

From the New York Times:

President Bush said Wednesday his advisers were telling conservatives about Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers’ religious beliefs because they are interested in her background and “part of Harriet Miers’ life is her religion.”

“People are interested to know why I picked Harriet Miers,” Bush told reporters at the White House. “They want to know Harriet Miers’ background. They want to know as much as they possibly can before they form opinions. And part of Harriet Miers’ life is her religion.”

Bush, speaking at the conclusion of an Oval Office meeting with visiting Polish President Aleksander Kwasniewski, said that his advisers were reaching out to conservatives who oppose her nomination “just to explain the facts.”

He spoke on a day in which conservative James Dobson, founder of Focus on Family, said he had discussed the nominee’s religious views with presidential aide Karl Rove.

Okay, I have a question: if John Roberts’ religion was out of bounds when he was nominated — I distinctly remember thunder from the right when some Democrats happened to mention that he is Roman Catholic — why is Ms. Miers’ religion being held up as a qualification for the job?

The Constitution in Article IV says, “No religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust.” But it looks like Mr. Bush is using one to demonstrate to the Religious Reich that she’s one of “them.”

Another thought arises: is the president, for some perverse reason no one can fathom, now doing everything he can to tank Ms. Miers’ nomination?