“A pitbull in size 6 shoes,” Bush calls her, according to an MSNBC reporter.1 Harriet Miers is Bush’s nominee for the Supreme Court. Miers is currently White House counsel and, in keeping with the Cheney modus operandi, was charged with presenting prospective SCOTUS nominees to Bush. She is 60 years old and active in Exodus Ministries, a Christian help group for felons.

Update [2005-10-3 12:31:5 by susanhu]: Because the thread here is filling up, I’ve begun a second story above, with Harry Reid’s official statement on Harriet Miers.

What possible strategy can we adopt for this Bushite stratagem? (Miers’ stratagem was not unlike that of clever dictators and ruling class of ancient Rome. Atia lives (!), albeit without progeny, but with the savvy to position herself perfectly before Bush — who really, as she surely knows, can’t see much beyond what’s in front of him anyway — as she discussed possible nominees with him during several White House dinners.)

I suggest we all research her heavily. Given the White House’s embarrassing and shoddy track record of investigating its nominees, we may unearth something that could make a difference. She has no judicial paper trail, so we must look elsewhere.

And, since Miers has never been a judge, tough Senate questioning of her will be difficult because her only record is in the White House, in her performance as a private attorney for clients such as Microsoft and Walt Disney, and in her brief stints in local (city council) and state office. As its chairperson, she was considered a driving force in cleaning up the Texas state lottery commission, and she earned the “pit bull” moniker from then-Governor Bush. The National Law Journal “named her one of the Nation’s 100 most powerful attorneys, and as one of the Nation’s top 50 women lawyers.” Her bio, published in the Washington Post, via the White House, is below the fold.

Legal scholar Jonathan Turley on MSNBC shortly after 6am PT): “No one I know would have EVER put her on the list.”

(Well, Jonathan, except perhaps Harry Reid who reportedly urged Bush to consider her. But was this a White House leak? Was it another Rovian strategem to get us Democrats off to a flat-footed start? Will Harry let us know soon? Or perhaps Reid has had dealings with Miers that impressed him? Update [2005-10-3 12:43:8 by susanhu]: See Reid’s statement above.] And Turley has never met her?)

Turley continued, “The people who should be most aggrieved on this should be conservatives.” The George Washington University law professor and MSNBC analyst named several distinguished conservative judges, and commented, “These are people who were bright stars of the right .. and Bush walked past them and picked a personal attorney. It’s also a problem for Democrats like Patrick Leahy who voted for a person [Roberts] who danced around questions about his decisions [which, by inference, Miers needn’t because she’s never been a judge].” (See Ezra Klein via Daou Report: “The Right is ready to jump off a cliff.”)

As for Sen. Leahy’s “[unreasonable] leap of faith,” well, I suggest that we first consider history. Any frank disclosure of the views of judicial candidates ended with Bork. No SCOTUS candidate in his/her right mind would openly reveal his or her views before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Sen. Leahy knows that.

Turley, on the court’s current cases: “It is a mess. Miers will vote on cases before the court this term (?) … her votes could be negated, challenged … a logistical mess.” There was no follow-up question, so I’m unclear what Turley meant.

In a tape of Bush a half hour ago, he announced that she “will not legislate from the bench.” Prior to Bush’s announcement, her name was brought before a group of Senators. Miers herself said that she has great respect for the legislative branch.

Adds Wonkette via The Daou Report:

“For an instant, we thought there might be more to Miers’s rehabilitation — Bush mentioned her work with ‘Exodus Ministries’ in his nomination speech. But it’s NOT that Exodus (‘Freedom from homosexuality through the healing power of Jesus Christ.’), it’s Exodus Ministries who ‘encourage ex-offenders [and] empower them to become self-sustaining, productive, Christ-centered members of society’. Whew. [Law Dork]”

BELOW, the bio. See also: Monday Morning Horrorshow, by Brinnaine, who discusses Minority Leader Harry Ried’s views on Miers.


1 The MSNBC reporter apparently grabbed that sound bite from the title of this Sept. 27 article, “‘A pit bull in size 6 shoes’,” forwarded to me by Sybil.

Harriet Miers was born in Dallas, Texas on August 10, 1945.

Ms. Miers received her bachelor’s degree in Mathematics in 1967 and J.D. in 1970 from Southern Methodist University. Upon graduation, she clerked for U.S. District Judge Joe E. Estes from 1970 to 1972. In 1972, Ms. Miers became the first woman hired at Dallas’s Locke Purnell Rain Harrell.

In March 1996, her colleagues elected her the first female President of Locke, Purnell, Rain & Harrell, at that time a firm of about 200 lawyers. She became the first female to lead a Texas firm of that size.

Locke, Purnell eventually merged with a Houston firm and became Locke Liddell & Sapp, LLP, where Ms. Miers became Co-Managing Partner and helped manage an over-400-lawyer firm.

Ms. Miers had a very distinguished career as a trial litigator, representing such clients as Microsoft, Walt Disney Co. and SunGard Data Systems Inc.

Throughout her career, she has been very active in the legal community and has blazed a trail for other women to follow.

* In 1985, Ms. Miers was selected as the first woman to become President of the Dallas Bar Association.

* In 1992, she became the first woman elected President of the State Bar of Texas. Ms. Miers served as the President of the State Bar of Texas from 1992 to 1993.

* She played an active role in the American Bar Association. She was one of two candidates for the Number 2 position at the ABA, chair of the House of Delegates, before withdrawing her candidacy to move to Washington to serve in the White House. Ms. Miers also served as the chair of the ABA’s Commission on Multijurisdictional Practice.

On numerous occasions, the National Law Journal named her one of the Nation’s 100 most powerful attorneys, and as one of the Nation’s top 50 women lawyers.

Ms. Miers also has been involved in local and statewide politics in Texas.

* In 1989, she was elected to a two-year term as an at-large candidate on the Dallas City Council. She chose not to run for re-election when her term expired.

* Ms. Miers also served as general counsel for the transition team of Governor-elect George W. Bush in 1994.

* From 1995 until 2000, Ms. Miers served as Chairwoman of the Texas Lottery Commission, a voluntary public service position she undertook while maintaining her legal practice and other responsibilities. When then-Governor Bush appointed Ms. Miers to a six-year term on the Texas Lottery Commission, it was mired in scandal, and she served as a driving force behind its cleanup.

Ms. Miers came to Washington D.C. in 2001 and began a period of distinguished and dedicated service that continues today.

* She was appointed to be Assistant to the President and Staff Secretary on January 20, 2001.

* In 2003, Ms. Miers was promoted to be Assistant to the President and Deputy Chief of Staff.

* Ms. Miers has served as Counsel to the President since February, 2005.

She is single and very close to her family: two brothers and her mother live in Dallas and a third brother lives in Houston.

(Source: The White House.)

0 0 votes
Article Rating