Maybe Bush and his in-group thought they could slide Harriet Miers onto the Supreme Court with nobody asking questions.

But it seems some of his far-right backers aren’t following the script. Right-wing flacks George Will and William Kristol are slamming Miers. Concerned Women of America, an evangelical group and key part of the Bush base, released a memo saying, “We do not believe we have learned anything more about Miss Miers that justifies endorsement.” Manuel Miranda, former aide to Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, said, “I think she is unconfirmable.” Miranda currently leads the Third Branch Conference, an umbrella group for conservative activists.

The right-wingers’ attacks on Miers expose their gender double standard. While they insisted on concealing records that would have highlighted John Roberts’ out-of-the-mainstream far-right views, these zealots, giddy with success, are demanding an explicit right-wing paper trail for Miers. If Miers’ first name were Harry instead of Harriet, would they be applauding him for toughness instead?

While we condemn sexism in all forms, we can hardly cheer for Miers, a long-time Bush crony and corporate lawyer who seems to put adulation of Bush and his anti-people agenda above any concern for democratic principles, workers’ rights or women’s rights.

The American people deserve a nominee to the nation’s top court who not only talks the talk of fairness, integrity and upholding the law, but has footprints to prove it. We’d like to see a paper trail too. A nominee worthy of confidence ought to have a written record that shows an understanding of and commitment to the basic democratic rights involved in Roe v. Wade, labor standards, civil rights and liberties and environmental stewardship. These principles are fundamental for our nation.

Surely among all the outstanding constitutional scholars and jurists in our country, we can find a highly qualified woman with that kind of record, to join Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the nine-member high court. May we suggest distinguished law professor Lani Guinier?

With the White House and GOP congressional leaders mired in scandal and plummeting polls, now is the time to for Democrats to take a strong stand on this crucial issue.

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