I tip my hat to President Bush. Just when I thought he couldn't get someone with less of a paper trail than Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. had, he has done so in nominating Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court.

Her personal story is compelling, and I applaud Mr. Bush for naming a woman. But because of the lack of paper trail, her nomination leaves many unanswered questions. At the same time, Ms. Miers is being nominated to fill arguably the most important seat on the court -- that of Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, generally considered the swing vote.

For those reasons, the onus will be on Ms. Miers to demonstrate in her confirmation hearings that she can live up to the legacy of Justice O'Connor.

STEVEN M. CLAYTON

Ocean, N.J.

The writer is a Democratic committeeman in Monmouth County, N.J.

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Many in the media have commented on the lack of a relevant record for Harriet Miers. Although there is little obvious record of her views on today's controversial issues, there is one major indicator of what her philosophy is: She has worked for George W. Bush for many years.

It seems unlikely that President Bush would tolerate someone in his own inner circle who had opinions substantially different from his own. This ought to be reason for concern when wondering if she would be a fair and balanced judge.

LINDA THOMAS

Reston