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Bush to tout Miers' knowledge of tribal sovereignty

Faces with intense skepticism from conservative Republicans, the White House is relaunching the U.S. Supreme Court nomination of Harriet Miers with an emphasis on her experience with tribal sovereignty, Time Magazine reports.

The White House's 20-person "confirmation team" is lining up supporters who can speak about Miers' work as head of the Texas Lottery Commission, the magazine said. Miers term as a Dallas city council member also will be emphasized.

In the 1990s, Miers was appointed by then-governor George W. Bush to chair the lottery panel. During her tenure, she backed efforts to restrict the use of electronic gaming machines, arguing that devices that resemble slot machines should be considered illegal. She also cracked down on the use of "eight-liner" devices on the grounds that they looked like slot machines.

That stance -- which was supported by Bush -- is now the focus of a controversial Department of Justice proposal that will block tribes from using gaming devices that resemble slot machines. Miers has served as White House counsel as the issue percolated within the $19 billion Indian gaming industry.

During Miers' time at the lottery, the state went after the Tigua Tribe and the Alabama-Coushatta Tribe for operating casinos. Both tribes were forced to close their facilities in response to lawsuits filed by the state.

Get the Story:
Why They Can't Hit The Right Note (Time Magazine 10/16)
Nominee Gets First Chance to Counter Critics (The New York Times 10/17)

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