Supreme Court Nominee Miers Backed Funding for AIDS Education and Services in Dallas, Noncommittal on Anti-discrimination Law
White House counsel and Supreme Court justice nominee Harriet Miers in a questionnaire she filled out in 1989 while running for Dallas City Council said the city had a responsibility to pay for AIDS education and patient services but was noncommittal on the need for a law barring discrimination against HIV-positive people seeking housing or public accommodations, the AP/Yahoo! News reports (Woodward, AP/Yahoo! News, 10/3). President Bush on Monday nominated Miers to replace retiring Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor. Miers, who was the first woman to serve as president of the State Bar of Texas and the Dallas Bar Association, has never been a judge and therefore has no judicial record (Kaiser Daily Women's Health Policy Report, 10/4). According to a copy of the questionnaire obtained by the Washington Blade -- which Miers filled out for the Lesbian/Gay Political Coalition of Dallas in 1989 during a successful campaign for City Council -- she wrote that Dallas "has a responsibility to fund AIDS education and patient support services." When asked if the city should increase its level of funding for AIDS-related services to more than $550,000 annually, Miers said, "Yes, assuming need and resources. I do consider the AIDS illness as a serious total community problem." Asked whether she would support a city law to ban discrimination for housing and public accommodations based on HIV status and separate legislation banning employment discrimination based on race, religion, age, sex or national origin, Miers wrote, "I prefer a legislative solution to the issues raised in these questions. ... I do not have all the facts on the significance of these ordinances; however, I am willing to discuss the need and make an appropriate decision when fully advised" (Chibbaro, Washington Blade, 10/3). Miers wrote on the questionnaire that she was not seeking an endorsement from the Lesbian/Gay Political Coalition of Dallas (Johnson, 365Gay.com, 10/4).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.