White House Counsel Harriet Miers has been nominated to replace Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, a justice who, during her 24 years on the Court often served as a swing vote in critical environmental issues before the Court (link). Miers will thus play a central role in deciding whether the Supreme Court upholds or strikes down protections for the health, safety, and welfare of the American people.
As one of the President’s closest advisors on domestic policy and legal issues, Ms. Miers was likely involved in high-profile decisions made by this administration that have had dramatic environmental consequences, such as the decision by the White House to overrule the decision by EPA administrator Christie Todd Whitman to regulate carbon dioxide as a pollutant under the Clean Air Act. As White House Counsel, Ms. Miers also oversaw the decision to re-nominate controversial appellate court nominees such as William Myers, who had been previously denied confirmation by the Senate because of their hostility to environmental safeguards.
Community Rights Counsel therefore today calls for a thorough investigation into Miers’ record and judicial philosophy. The environmental stakes in this nomination could not be higher. The public must be assured that this nominee will not assume the pivotal seat on the Supreme Court with a predetermined agenda to strike down the constitutional principles underpinning environmental safeguards.