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Liberal interest groups that loudly opposed the nomination of Chief Justice John Roberts Jr. let out nary a murmur last week about Harriet Miers. “I was absolutely nonplussed,” Roberta Sklar, director of communications for the National Gay and Lesbian Taskforce, says of her group’s muted response. The organization’s reaction to Miers was “less active” than during the early phase of Roberts’ nomination because it simply doesn’t know enough about Bush’s White House lawyer, Sklar says. Other usually vocal opponents of Bush’s judicial picks also pointed to the information vacuum. “Compared to Miers, John Roberts had written the Encyclopedia Britannica,” says Elliot Mincberg, legal director for the People For the American Way. Planned Parenthood is waiting for senators to elicit answers from Miers before it takes a position. Meanwhile, some groups have just decided it’s better to receive than give: MoveOn.org is soliciting facts about Miers on its Web site. Leonard Gross, a professor at Southern Illinois School of Law who writes about the politicization of high court nominations, says the groups might think Miers is the best they could get. Says Gross: “Why rock the boat when you could have ended up with somebody worse?”
Lily Henning can be contacted at [email protected]. Emma Schwartz can be contacted at [email protected].

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