...described her service on the Dallas City Council in 1989. When the city was sued on allegations that it violated the Voting Rights Act, she said, "the council had to be sure to comply with the proportional representation requirement of the Equal Protection Clause."The White House defense of this embarassing gaffe?
But the Supreme Court repeatedly has said the Constitution's guarantee of "equal protection of the laws" does not mean that city councils or state legislatures must have the same proportion of blacks, Latinos and Asians as the voting population.
"That's a terrible answer. There is no proportional representation requirement under the equal protection clause," said New York University law professor Burt Neuborne, a voting rights expert. "If a first-year law student wrote that and submitted it in class, I would send it back and say it was unacceptable."
White House spokeswoman Dana Perino also emphasized that Miers' experience was more important than her terminology.Um, she's been nominated for the Supreme Court of the United States. All the Justices do there is issue opinions. There is nothing more important in interpreting those opinions, thatn interpeting the terminology the Justices use.
"Ms. Miers, when confirmed, will be the only Supreme Court Justice to have actually had to comply with the Voting Rights Act," she said.