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October 06, 2005 - Image 2

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The Michigan Daily, 2005-10-06

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2A - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, October 6, 2005


U.S. Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), ranking Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, meets with White House
counsel Harriet Miers on Capitol Hill yesterday.
Some wored over Mirs

Conservative lawmakers
question Supreme Court
nominee's qualifications
WASHINGTON (AP) - Conserva-
tives continued to question President
Bush's nomination of White House
counsel Harriet Miers for the Supreme
Court yesterday, causing a rare fracture
in the GOP's attempts to move the fed-
eral judiciary to the right.
"There are a lot more people -
men, women and minorities - that
are more qualified in my opinion by
their experience than she is," said Sen.
Trent Lott, (R-Miss.), formerly the
Senate Majority leader.
Lott said it's not enough for the presi-
dent to say "trust me," when it comes to
the Supreme Court.
"I don't just automatically salute or
take a deep bow anytime a nominee is

sent up," Lott told MSNBC. "I have to
find out who these people are, and right
now, I'm not satisfied with what I know."
"President Bush has an excellent record
of appointing judges who recognize the
proper role of the courts, which is to inter-
pret the law according to its actual text,
and not to legislate from the bench," said
David O'Steen, executive director of the
National Right to Life Committee. "We
believe that Harriet Miers is another nom-
inee who will abide by the text and history
of the Constitution."
GOP Sen. John Cornyn, a fellow
Texan, a former judge and a member of
the Senate Judiciary Committee, also
came out for Miers after meeting with
her yesterday morning. Cornyn said he
believes her Senate Judiciary confir-
mation hearing could begin as early as
Nov. 7.
"I don't need to reserve judgment
because I know she's the right person

for the job now," said Cornyn, who has
known Miers for 15 years.
Cornyn acknowledged that Miers
faces problems from some conserva-
tives. "The president in a sense has dis-
armed some of his critics, but also made
some of his supporters nervous by this
nomination," Cornyn said.
Conservatives in some cases are
expressing outright opposition, some
are in wait-and-see mode and others are
silent, all bad signs for a Bush adminis-
tration used to having the full backing
of all wings of the GOP when it takes on
the Senate's minority Democrats over
judicial selection.
"I'm getting reports on both sides,"
said Paul Weyrich, a conserva-
tive leader from the Free Congress
Foundation. "Some people are quite
enthused about her and other people
are very upset. The grass-roots are not
happy, I can tell you that."

- -U-- - - - -- - - - -- - - - - - - - - - - -

Amendment prohibits
cruel punishment against
anyone in U.S. custody
Republican-controlled Senate voted
overwhelmingly yesterday to impose
restrictions on the treatment of terror-
ism suspects, delivering a rare wartime
rebuke to President Bush.
Defying the White House, senators
voted 90-9 to approve an amendment that
would prohibit the use of "cruel, inhuman
or degrading treatment or punishment"
against anyone in U.S. government cus-
tody, regardless of where they are held.
The amendment was added to a $440
billion military spending bill for the
budget year that began Oct. 1.
The proposal, sponsored by Sen.
John McCain, also requires all service
members to follow procedures in the
Army Field Manual when they detain
and interrogate terrorism suspects.
Bush administration officials say the
legislation would limit the president's
authority and flexibility in war.
But lawmakers from each party have
said Congress must provide U.S. troops
with clear standards for detaining, interro-
gating and prosecuting terrorism suspects
in light of allegations of mistreatment at
Guantanamo Bay and the abuse scandal
at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq.
"We demanded intelligence without
ever clearly telling our troops what was
permitted and what was forbidden. And
when things went wrong, we blamed
them and we punished them," said
McCain, a prisoner of war in Vietnam.
"Our troops are not served by ambi-
guity. They are crying out for clarity
and Congress cannot shrink from this
duty," said McCain, (R-Ariz.)
The Senate was expected to vote on
the overall spending bill by weeks' end.
The House-approved version of it does
not include the detainee provisions. It is
unclear how much support the measure
has in the GOP-run House.
However, Rep. John Murtha of
Pennsylvania, the top Democrat on the
House Appropriations subcommittee on
defense, is supporting McCain's legisla-
tion. Murtha could prove a powerful ally
when House and Senate negotiators meet
to reconcile differences in their bills.
The confrontation by members of the
president's own party shows how reluc-
tant some lawmakers are to give him
unchecked wartime power as the con-
flict in Iraq drags on and U.S. casualties
mount. It also comes as the president
seeks to show strength after weeks in
which his approval rating plummeted,
with Americans questioning the direc-
tion of the war, the sluggish federal
response to Hurricane Katrina and the
upsurge in gas prices.
Sen. Ted Stevens, (R-Alaska), said
he was concerned that McCain's legis-
lation could inadvertently endanger the
lives of people who work in classified
roles. He said he hoped to fix the poten-
tial problems during negotiations with
the House.
"There are some changes that have to
be made if we are going to be faithful to
those people who live in the classified

world," Stevens said.
Also pending is an amendment by
Sen. Lindsey Graham, (R-S.C.), that
would distinguish between a "lawful
enemy combatant" and an "unlawful
enemy combatant." His proposal would
put into law the procedures for pros-
ecuting them at the Navy's Guantanamo
Bay prison in Cuba.
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Roberts questions assisted suicide
Newly installed Chief Justice John Roberts sharply questioned a lawyer argu-
ing for preservation of Oregon's physician-assisted suicide law yesterday, noting
the federal government's tough regulation of addictive drugs.
The 50-year-old Roberts, hearing his first oral argument since succeeding
William Rehnquist at the helm of the court, seemed skeptical of the Oregon law,
and the outcome of this case was as unclear after the argument as before.
At the outset, Roberts laid a barrage of questions on Oregon Senior Assistant
Attorney General Robert Atkinson before he could finish his first sentence.
"It's a tough case," signed Justice Anthony Kennedy, a moderate, who with
Roberts and others got immersed in one of the most vexing cases to come before
the court. Justices pondered whether the federal government has the power to
block doctors from helping terminally ill patients end their lives.
Iraqi parliament reverses on electoral law
Iraq's parliament voted yesterday to reverse last-minute changes to rules for
next week's referendum on a new constitution after the United Nations said
they were unfair. Sunni Arabs responded by dropping their threat to boycott
the vote and promised to reject the charter at the polls.
U.N. and U.S. officials welcomed the reversal, saying it helped restore integ-
rity to the crucial Oct. 15 referendum and urged all Iraqis to participate.
The United Nations, which was supervising the referendum, and U.S. offi-
cials had pressed Iraqi leaders to drop the rule change, which would have made
it nearly impossible for the constitution to be defeated and jeopardized efforts
to bring Sunnis into the political process.
Bomb at Shiite mosque kills 25, wounds 87
A bomb exploded at the entrance of a Shiite Muslim mosque south of
Baghdad as hundreds of worshippers gathered for prayers on the first day
of Ramadan and for the funeral of a man killed in an earlier bombing. At
least 25 people were killed and 87 wounded.
The explosion hit the Husseiniyat Ibn al-Nama mosque, ripping through
strings of lightbulbs and green and red flags hung around the entrance to
celebrate the start of the holy month. The mosque's facade was ravaged,
shops nearby were destroyed and several cars were damaged.
Hundreds of men had gathered at the mosque, located in the center of Hillah,
for prayers before returning home to eat the meal that ends the day's sunrise to
sunset fast, when the blast went off at 6 p.m.
- Compiled from Daily wire reports
A story in Wednesday's edition of the Daily (State honors 'U' alum
who saved lives in Holocaust) incorrectly stated that days after Raoul
Wallenberg's arrival in Debrecen, the Russian Army seized Budapest
and its surrounding areas. I should have said Raoul Wallenberg was
imprisoned by the Russian Army in October, months after the Soviets
seized Budapest and its surrounding areas.
A news brief headline in Wednesday's edition of the Daily incorrectly
said, "Israeli soldier killed as security increases." The soldier was not
killed, but wounded.
An editorial in Wednesday's edition of the Daily (Drink Faygo
instead) incorrectly stated that The Coca-Cola Company sent the Uni-
v.ersity a letter agreeing to a third-party audit of its labor practices. The
University has yet to deterimine whether or not the letter provides con-
sent for such an inquiry.
A story in Wednesday's edition of the Daily (Strikers picket regent)
incorrectly spelled the name of a SOLE member. It should have said Art
Please report any error in the Daily to corrections@michigandaily.com.
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