Harriet Miers -- feminist activist?

From The Chronicle of Higher Education: Daily news: 10/06/2005

For someone both heralded and feared as a potentially conservative voice on the U.S. Supreme Court, Harriet E. Miers has played a key role in exposing college students to some unmistakably liberal ideas.

In the late 1990s, as a member of the advisory board for Southern Methodist University's law school, Ms. Miers pushed for the creation of an endowed lecture series in women's studies named for Louise B. Raggio, one of the first women to rise to prominence in the Texas legal community. A strong advocate for women, Ms. Raggio helped persuade state lawmakers to revise Texas laws to give women new rights over property and in the event of divorce.

Ms. Miers, whom President Bush announced on Monday as his choice to fill the Supreme Court seat being vacated by Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, not only advocated for the lecture series, but also gave money and solicited donations to help get it off the ground.

A feminist icon, Gloria Steinem, delivered the series's first lecture, in 1998. In the following two years, the speakers were Patricia S. Schroeder, the former Democratic congresswoman widely associated with women's causes, and Susan Faludi, the author of Backlash: The Undeclared War Against American Women (1991). Ann W. Richards, the Democrat whom George W. Bush unseated as governor of Texas in 1994, delivered the lecture in 2003.

Other speakers in the series have included Geraldine Laybourne, founder of Oxygen Media, a cable-television network for women; Gwen Ifill, moderator of public television's Washington Week and a correspondent for The NewsHour With Jim Lehrer; and
Colleen Barrett and Herb Kelleher, both top executives at Dallas-based Southwest Airlines, who teamed up to give the lecture in 2004.

A description of the lecture series on Southern Methodist's Web site says it "brings role models of vision and achievement to SMU to speak on gender and women's issues."

--makes me think the foam-flecked rightwingers, the ones who call themselves Christians (which they are, I suppose, if Jesus was actually Pontius Pilate) are going to be in a quandary about the relative merits of defecating or becoming vision-impaired.


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