Filling In Blanks On Court Nominee

At 60 years old, President Bush's fellow Texan has never been called a slouch. After all, Harriet Miers was often the only woman clearing brush with the president on his ranch. She has contributed to GOP campaigns, but also gave $1,000 to Al Gore's 1988 presidential bid. She also donated $150 to an anti-abortion group.

Still, without a judge's record, she is virtually a blank slate. Some of her supporters offered to fill in some of the blanks.

"She is strong," former Texas Supreme Court Justice Jack Hightower tells CBS News national correspondent Thalia Assuras. "She's knowledgeable, and I'm sure she'll speak for herself."

High school classmate Janet Coplin remembers Miers as a person of inner strength.

"She is a quiet person," Coplin says, "very calm, pleasant, easy to get along with and very thoughtful."

Miers has also been a trailblazer for women, with several firsts including the title of first woman president of the state bar of Texas. Still, some of those applauding the nomination of a woman have concerns.

Martha Burk of the National Council of Women's Organizations says, "Both (Sandra Day) O'Connor and (Ruth Bader) Ginsburg are of the same generation of female lawyers who had trouble getting jobs, trouble opening doors. Miers never talks about it in gender terms."

Miers has said little publicly, though this spring she talked about encouraging young people to enter her profession.

"Come on in. As you can tell, the water is just fine," she said on C-SPAN on April 22.

And in accepting her nomination, the deeply religious Miers paid emotional tribute to her elderly mother.

"Thank you for your faith, your strength, your courage, your love and beauty of spirit," Miers said.

Until now though, Miers has generally stayed out of the limelight. Now thrust into it, the big question is what she will reveal on issues she would face if she is confirmed.
  • Tatiana Morales

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