After meeting with Miers on Monday, [Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Arlen] Specter twice flatly and unequivocally told reporters that she declared her support for Griswold -- a position likely to upset conservatives already uneasy about her nomination.It worked for John Roberts to affirm the right of privacy but take no position on Roe v. Wade. I assume that those who are prepping Miers to straddle the fence effectively advised her to do exactly the same thing. But the true answer for her is probably: I have never studied the question in the kind of depth I would need to do as a judge. But to say that is to admit how green she is as an interpreter of constitutional law.
"She said she believes there's a right to privacy (in the Constitution)," Specter said. "And she believes Griswold was rightly decided."
Specter, a supporter of abortion rights, said he believed Miers' position on Griswold would be "relevant, not determinative" of her views on Roe.
However, a White House official later disputed Specter's statements.
"She has not discussed specific cases with other senators. Today was no different," said the White House official, who requested anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the private discussions. "My understanding is Senator Specter is going to correct his comments."
Specter then released a statement that stopped short of a correction:
"In their meeting this afternoon, Sen. Specter thought Ms. Harriet Miers said she agreed with Griswold v. Connecticut and there was a right to privacy in the Constitution. After Sen. Specter commented on that to the news media, Ms. Miers called him to say that he misunderstood her, and that she had not taken a position on Griswold or the privacy issue. Sen. Specter accepts Ms. Miers' statement that he misunderstood what she said."
Rough times ahead! And if Specter keeps helping her out of a jam it's going to be rather embarrassing.