- The Washington Times - Sunday, October 9, 2005

DALLAS (AP) — Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers joined members of her family at an Episcopal church yesterday and then went to a hotel for services with people who have broken away from the evangelical church she attended for many years.

At the Episcopal Church of the Incarnation, Miss Miers smiled at reporters but did not stop to answer questions as she walked inside with her brother. After the hourlong service, she went to a North Dallas hotel to join worshippers from the evangelical Valley View Christian Church who have formed their own group.

When asked by a reporter outside the Episcopal church whether she was surprised by the conservative reaction to her nomination, Miss Miers replied, “Nice to see you.”

Several prominent conservatives have criticized President Bush for nominating a person without a strong background in constitutional law and a decidedly conservative view of jurisprudence. Miss Miers has spent most of her career in private practice in Dallas and has served Mr. Bush as his personal attorney, White House secretary and counsel.

Other conservatives have hailed her experience and called on like-minded people to trust Mr. Bush’s judgment that Miss Miers will rule according to the Constitution. They also have pointed to her past pro-life activities in Dallas as a sign of how she might rule on abortion cases.

The Senate, which must confirm or reject the nomination, will hold hearings to learn more about her views.

Miss Miers has attended services before at the Church of the Incarnation, which Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, Texas Republican, attends and to which several people in Miss Miers’ family belong. When in the District, Miss Miers attends St. John’s Episcopal Church near the White House, which Mr. Bush also attends.

For years, Miss Miers was a member of Valley View, but she and about 150 of its 1,200 active members left the church to form a separate congregation, said Texas Supreme Court Justice Nathan Hecht. A friend of Miss Miers, Justice Hecht also is part of the breakaway group.

Valley View is part of a movement known as Christian Churches and Churches of Christ. These conservative congregations grew from a reform movement in the 19th century that aimed to break down denominational barriers among Christians.

As a child, Miss Miers attended Roman Catholic and Protestant churches. In 1979, she was baptized at Valley View, and she later taught Sunday school classes there.

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