More Info Demanded From Miers

White House counsel and Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers begins her courtesy calls on the Senate, Monday, Oct. 3, 2005 in Washington. President Bush nominated Miers to the Supreme Court turning to a lawyer who has never been a judge to replace Sandra Day O'Connor and help reshape the nation's judiciary.(AP Photo/Lawrence Jackson) AP

The senators in charge of Harriet Miers' confirmation are demanding more information from her before hearings begin, with one lawmaker describing the Supreme Court nominee's answers so far as "incomplete to insulting."

The chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Sen. Arlen Specter, and the top Democrat, Sen. Patrick Leahy, agreed on Wednesday to begin Miers' hearings on Nov. 7. Specter, R-Pa., and Leahy, D-Vt., also sent a letter to the White House counsel asking her to more fully answer a questionnaire she submitted Tuesday, reports CBS News correspondent Bob Fuss.

The senators also plan to ask the White House to provide information about Miers' work for President Bush, something the White House has said it will not do. "A number of Republicans have asked for nonprivileged information," Specter said at a news conference.

In her 57-page questionnaire, Miers answered questions about her legal career and background. She addressed issues such as how she would deal with court cases involving the Bush administration, if she were confirmed to succeed retiring Justice Sandra Day O'Connor.

Specter and Leahy said Republicans and Democrats on the committee felt that Miers did not tell them enough.

"The comments I have heard range from incomplete to insulting," Leahy said.

Specter said he and Leahy "took a look at it and agreed that it was insufficient."

Miers, in a letter Wednesday to the committee, said she would "work to provide additional materials to the committee."

A White House spokeswoman, Dana Perino, said that since Miers was nominated, she has told Specter she had "years of files to go through and she would work to finish the questionnaire as soon as possible, but she would likely have to send follow-ups to provide additional information."

The senators said an official request for "nonprivileged" information from the White House would come after they saw Miers' response to their new questions.

The lawmakers want her to explain more about her temporary suspension from the Washington, D.C., Bar for nonpayment of dues and double-check that she submitted all of her litigated work to the committee.

"The committee has, for example, identified additional cases not included in your original response," they said.

Miers, in her letter, also disclosed that her Texas law license had been suspended from Sept. 1-26, 1989, for late payment of bar dues. She said it happened because of an "administrative oversight."

Perino said Miers' Dallas law firm inadvertently had left her and two other lawyers out of the bulk payment it typically made to cover its attorneys' Bar dues. After the problem was discovered, the firm cut a check on Sept. 14, 1989, the administrative suspension was lifted and no penalties or disciplinary action were imposed as a result, she said.
  • Joel Roberts

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