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October 7, 2005 12:28PM EST


In Mr. Murray's absence, Peggy Birchfield wrote this week's update from Capitol Hill




President Bush announced on Monday that Harriet Miers is his next nominee to the U. S. Supreme Court to fill the vacancy of Sandra Day O'Connor. Conservatives and Republicans have expressed disappointment with the President's decision. We know less about Harriett Miers than we did about Judge John Roberts when he was nominated. The lack of knowledge has left conservatives skeptical because of not having enough background information. Conservative leaders have been quoted as saying it was betrayal, others as saying "there were better qualified choices--WHY?" This choice caught organizations off guard when the nominee chosen has no previous experience as a judge, never married, and has no record. We do know that she is a born-again conservative Evangelical Christian, attends a "conservative" church and has donated to pro-life causes. However, she was recommended to Bush by several Democratic Senators and she is also the head of the lottery board in Texas, which will be a concern for several religious groups. The White House strategy of nominating people with no background or record so that the "left" will have no basis for attack is an attempt to prevent a repeat of Bork's nomination under Reagan's administration.

Harriet MiersThe President's nominee would be the first one without judicial qualifications since 1971, when Nixon nominated William H. Rehnquist. The hope in placing Miers on the bench is to reshape our court system as constitutionally interpreter, but conservatives hoped for a nominee with a proven track record. Many conservatives are looking for reasons to support her but they have not found them yet. Just a few weeks ago Democrats stood shoulder to shoulder vowing to sink the nomination of Judge John G. Roberts to the Supreme Court and now it seems very few groups have made public statements on their support. The pro-life, pro-family and religious liberty groups have given our president the support he has needed on issues and nominees, but this fight will have to start after the confirmation process. It seems to be a "Wait and See" campaign.

The Religious Freedom Coalition has supported the President on nominees to the federal courts who have been committed to interpreting the Constitution instead of legislating from the bench. RFC will watch the confirmation process closely to see if this choice by the president is justified

Senator Sam Brownback (R-KS) speaks for most of us, "We must trust, but verify."



The attacks continue, as Former House Majority Leader Tom Delay was served two more indictments on Monday. One was for conspiracy and the other one was for money laundering. The new charges arose because the defense lawyers asked a judge on Monday to throw out the first indictment, contending that the charge of conspiracy had false accusations. The Democratic prosecutor filed the new charges because he knew there was a potential problem. Delay has followed House Republican rules and stepped down from his position as Majority Leader when the first indictment was served. As I met with Mr. Delay this week, he spoke about his family and his faith. This man is truly a man of faith who urged me to reserve my judgments regarding the new U.S. Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers because she is a born-again, Bible-believing Christian, who is very, dedicated to her church. He stated that she would be the first Evangelical Christian to serve on the bench, and urged us to give her the benefit of the doubt and wait for the confirmation process to begin and only then to make our decision. Tom Delay is a deacon in his church and it is because of his faith, not his politics, that the left hates him. District Attorney Ronnie Earle is an extortion expert and has filed charges against Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) and several other Texas politicians. A review of Earle's own campaign finance filings show that Earle has received contributions from the AFL-CIO and listed this on the disclosure forms as coming from an incorporated entity. The former leader intends on fighting this battle until the end. He will continue to work in the House and focus on the business at hand as an advisor to the leaders. The House has had a "good" year and they are moving forward to tackle new energy legislation and to approve stronger border and security control.



President George W. Bush spoke yesterday at the Ronald Reagan International Trade Center in Washington, DC. Focusing on the "International Global War on Terrorism," he discussed the purpose and goals of the war, challenged Muslim leaders to condemn terror, and strongly declared America's determination to prevail. The President wanted to put into perspective that the fight in Iraq is one part of a much larger global battle. President Bush voiced concern that al-Qaeda wants to make Iraq a base to launch radical Islamist operations against the United States. Bush also lashed out at State sponsors Syria and Iran for their ongoing support of terrorism. Bush stated, "No act of ours invited the rage of the killers and no concession, bribe, or act of appeasement would change or limit their plans for murder. On the contrary: they target nations whose behavior they believe they can change through violence. Against such an enemy, there is only one response: We will never back down, never give in, and never accept anything less than complete victory." The speech was originally scheduled for the fourth anniversary of the 9-11 attacks but cancelled due to Hurricane Katrina and Rita. Democrats immediately denounced Bush's speech, stating that he is triggering the rage of radicals and triggering al-Qaeda to attack us. The transcript can be viewed at


Religious Freedom Coalition will continue its work on Capitol Hill as the House goes into a short recess next week. We wish everyone a safe and happy Columbus Day holiday on Monday, October 10th.


We can use your help! The Religious Freedom Coalition has reduced staff. The primary effect of the staff reduction will be on our international operations of the Bethlehem Project. The level of our funding to Christian schools in the Bethlehem area will not be reduced at this time. A large number of the donors to the Religious Freedom Coalition live in the Gulf area affected by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. In addition, the increase in gasoline prices caused by these storms has greatly reduced the funds available to our donor base. We urgently need your help! Can you send a small gift today. Click here to donate at this secure link or send a check to Religious Freedom Coalition, PO Box 77511, Washington, DC 20013.

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Peggy Birchfield, Executive Director

Religious Freedom Coalition , PO Box 77511, Washington, DC 20013 - (202) 543-0300

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