Press

Task Force Calls Upon Senate Judiciary Committee to Question Under Oath Karl Rove, Texas Supreme Court Justice Nathan Hecht, U.S

Date: 
October 17, 2005

MEDIA CONTACT:
Roberta Sklar, Director of Communications
media@theTaskForce.org
646.358.1465

WASHINGTON, Oct. 17 — Today, the Wall Street Journal reported that presidential advisor Karl Rove arranged for two of Harriet Miers' close friends and professional colleagues — Justice Nathan Hecht of the Texas Supreme Court and U.S. District Court Judge Ed Kinkeade — to speak with members of the executive committee of the Arlington Group, an umbrella alliance of 60 religious conservative groups formed to oppose marriage equality for lesbian and gay people. The article reports that the two judges were asked, based on their personal knowledge of Miers, if she would vote to overturn Roe v. Wade?" Kinkeade is reported to have said, "Absolutely," and Hecht concurred.

The following is a statement from Eleanor Acheson, Director of Public Policy and Government Affairs at the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force.

"It is an outrage that White House advisors and sitting judges are assuring right-wing leaders like James Dobson of Focus on the Family and Gary Bauer of American Values, along with others, that Harriet Miers will vote to overturn Roe v. Wade. The Senate Judiciary Committee must interview under oath Mr. Rove, Texas Supreme Court Justice Nathan Hecht, U.S. District Court Judge Ed Kinkeade, as well as Mr. Dobson and others who participated in the reported conference call, to learn not only what was discussed but whether the involvement of Mr. Rove and the participation of the two judges reached back to the nominee herself.

"The independence of the judiciary and of every single federal judge who is part of it must be maintained, both in the appointment process and throughout the tenure of the judges' themselves. To date, President Bush has used Miers' faith to signal her constitutional views and has asserted that he 'knows' that Miers' views will not change. All of that is cause for alarm. Now we have his closest White House advisor arranging for his closest political allies — religious conservatives — to be assured that Miers would vote to overturn Roe. Mr. Dobson has said 'when you know some of the things that I know — that I probably shouldn't know — you will understand why I have said, with fear and trepidation, that I believe Harriet Miers will be a good justice.' We can no longer listen to the White House's disingenuous words about Miers' independence. Neither can the Senate Judiciary Committee. It must now get to the bottom of this new evidence."

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The mission of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force is to build the political power of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community from the ground up. We do this by training activists, organizing broad-based campaigns to defeat anti-LGBT referenda and advance pro-LGBT legislation, and by building the organizational capacity of our movement. Our Policy Institute, the movement’s premier think tank, provides research and policy analysis to support the struggle for complete equality and to counter right-wing lies. As part of a broader social justice movement, we work to create a nation that respects the diversity of human expression and identity and creates opportunity for all. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., we also have offices in New York City, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis and Cambridge.