Remember the Federalist Society flap in connection with John Roberts' Supreme Court nomination? Roberts' opponents cited his association with the group of conservative and libertarian lawyers as evidence of his right-wing extremism, while his defenders said he had never, technically speaking, been a member. Now conservative critics of Harriet Miers' nomination are worried by her attempt to distance herself from the Federalist Society, and the Bush administration wants everyone to know she's really quite chummy with the group.
Back in 1989, when Miers was a member of the Dallas City Council, she testified in a voting rights case that she "tried to avoid memberships in organizations that were politically charged with one viewpoint or the other." She cited the Federalist Society as an example of a group she'd shun because "it's better to not be involved in organizations that seem to color your view one way or the other for people who are examining you." In response to complaints about these remarks, White House spokesman Mark Scott McClellan insisted Miers is "supportive" of the Federalist Society and "like the rest of the White House, knows that the Federalist Society has been a great ally on many important issues, particularly when it comes to the federal judiciary."
The Federalist Society's newfound P.R. value speaks volumes about the weakness of Miers' credentials and qualifications. And her avowed determination to avoid taking an identifiable position on any issue, even by implication, does not make her look any better, although I suppose she deserves some sort of credit for managing to remain a complete cipher throughout her career.