Video: Judge friend talks about Harriet Miers

updated 10/6/2005 11:11:08 AM ET 2005-10-06T15:11:08

Harriet Miers is unfazed by the criticism and questioning of her qualifications as she seeks to become the next Supreme Court justice, a longtime friend said Thursday.

“She’s excited. She’s working hard at it. The criticism, I think, is rolling off her back as it usually does,” said Judge Nathan Hecht of the Texas Supreme Court.

Hecht, who has known Miers for 30 years, said he has visited her several times since she was nominated by President Bush on Monday.

A new poll indicates people are uncertain about Miers. In an AP-Ipsos poll taken this week, two thirds of those surveyed didn’t know enough about Miers to have an opinion of her. Just 41 percent said the Senate should confirm her, lower than similar ratings for Roberts after his nomination; 27 percent said she should not be confirmed and 32 percent weren’t sure.

The choice of Miers, a veteran lawyer and White House aide who has never been a judge — and therefore has no record of judicial decisions — has worried some Republican senators and anti-abortion activists who question the depth of her conservative views. Democrats, meanwhile, worry that she will prove too conservative.

“I don’t have any doubt that she’ll be conservative,” Hecht said in an interview on NBC's “Today” show. “Whether she’ll move the court to the right I don’t know.”

Hecht said he was confident that Miers is “pro-life” but can’t predict whether she would vote to overturn the Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion.

Miers’ commitment to her evangelical church in Dallas “shapes the kind of person that she is,” Hecht said. But, “It doesn’t shape her view on cases. In fact, almost the opposite.”

“Someone who is very committed to their faith is also going to be committed to the oath that they take as a judge, and is going to judge cases fairly and is not going to let personal or religious views or any other kind of views influence the decisions in actual cases,” he told CBS’ “The Early Show.”

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