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Harriet Miers, White House Counsel for S.Ct.

by Last Night in Little Rock

CNN just put out the following breaking news: "President Bush to nominate White House counsel Harriett Miers to replace retiring Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, CNN has learned." See the just posted articles at ABC News , the NY Times, and the Chicago Sun-Times.

From ABCNews.com:

Harriet Ellan Miers is White House counsel and was formerly President Bush's personal lawyer in Texas. She first served in the White House as staff secretary and was deputy chief of staff before she was named counsel upon Alberto Gonzales' transition to attorney general.

When he was the governor of Texas, Bush once publicly introduced Miers as a "pit bull in size 6 shoes."

Born and raised in Dallas, Miers earned her undergraduate degree in mathematics and her law degree from Southern Methodist University. In addition to her legal career, she served one term on the Dallas City Council.

Miers, 60, broke barriers for women throughout her career. She reportedly was the first woman hired by the prestigious Dallas law firm Locke Purnell Boren Laney & Neely, where she became a successful commercial litigator. She also became the first female president of the Dallas Bar Association in 1985 and was the first woman elected president of the Texas Bar Association in 1992.

Update: As I recall, going back to law school days, Chief Justice Rehnquist was White House Counsel when he was appointed to the Supreme Court.

NBC's Today Show, however, just opined that she has no paper trail, and that may be the point. She vetted Roberts and other potential nominees for Bush, so that gives some indication. Sen. Schumer essentially said she was an unknown. She should have papers produced in the White House, but they can claim executive privilege as to some, if not all.

Also, half of all Supreme Court nominees had no prior judicial experience. Being a real lawyer, however, would be a help.

Prof. Jonathan Turley of Georgetown Law School just said that she was a bad appointee since being a member of the Dallas City Council for one term and running the Texas lottery hardly qualifies someone for the Supreme Court.

I see another Michael Brown in the making here. "Advise and consent"?

Update: Can you say "filibuster"? Let's turn in the Supreme Court into a lottery. It already is.

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  • Display: Sort:
    Re: Harriet Miers, White House Counsel for S.Ct. (none / 0) (#1)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:04:37 PM EST
    Great--a political operative for the Supreme Court.

    Re: Harriet Miers, White House Counsel for S.Ct. (none / 0) (#2)
    by Aaron on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:04:37 PM EST
    A Bush crony with zero judicial experience nominated to the highest court in the land, why am I not surprised?

    Re: Harriet Miers, White House Counsel for S.Ct. (none / 0) (#3)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:04:37 PM EST
    GOP cronyism gone wild! She's like the Michaal Brown of the Bush judiciary....

    Re: Harriet Miers, White House Counsel for S.Ct. (none / 0) (#4)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:04:37 PM EST
    I think it's a trick.

    Re: Harriet Miers, White House Counsel for S.Ct. (none / 0) (#5)
    by kdog on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:04:37 PM EST
    On the brightside, she does not appear to be a religous extremist.

    Re: Harriet Miers, White House Counsel for S.Ct. (none / 0) (#6)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:04:37 PM EST
    Can you say "borked"? What fun! If Shmuck Sh00mer got all lathered up about Justice Roberts' supposed lack of candor in answering trick questions, Harriet's gonna be entertaining if that's where we're going here...

    Re: Harriet Miers, White House Counsel for S.Ct. (none / 0) (#7)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:04:37 PM EST
    Re: Harriet Miers, White House Counsel for S.Ct. (none / 0) (#8)
    by wg on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:04:37 PM EST
    appears eminently unqualified for the job. A lesson here for aspiring lawyers, pick your clients carefully. First Gonzalez, now her. I hear Bush's house gardner wouldn't mind some reward for years of faithful service so let's hope the guy who runs the EPA isn't planning to retire any time soon.

    Re: Harriet Miers, White House Counsel for S.Ct. (none / 0) (#9)
    by Peter G on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:04:37 PM EST
    It's M-I-E-R-S, not "Myers." TL knows her -- here's her prior comment on Miers. Lack of prior judicial experience is a trivial objection to a Supreme Court nominee. Plenty of great (and not so great) justices have not been judges previously. Among the great liberals, Brandeis, Murphy, Goldberg, Warren, Douglas, all come to mind immediately. To me, the real question is whether Ms. Miers could have been a close adviser to Bush for so many years and not be closely in sync with his abhorrent views and attitudes on a host of important social, moral, political and legal issues. I'm prety sure I know the answer to that question.

    Re: Harriet Miers, White House Counsel for S.Ct. (none / 0) (#10)
    by wg on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:04:37 PM EST
    "[T]o place a complete hack in charge of response to a national emergency is criminal negligence ..." and that was a certified GOPer (Sullivan) commenting on W's Brown nomination. Not being a long term judge is not a problem here, being nothing more than a second rate Texas political hack is and giving her the position as important as the SC justice is equally irresponsible. The court is lost for all practical purposes. Barbarians from Texas in complete charge now. Let the executions begin. Yeah-ha!

    He wanted to appoint Brownie but Laura made him appointment a woman Let's turn the Supreme Court into a judicial lottery Maybe he should just have appointed Laura --one doesn't need to be s lawyer to be on a court

    Re: Harriet Miers, White House Counsel for S.Ct. (none / 0) (#12)
    by Nowonmai on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:04:37 PM EST
    Just when I thought that squatter in the whitehouse couldn't do anything stupider.. Nominating someone with zero judicial experience as SCJ is like nominating an orderly to be chief surgeon in a hospital. I hope to heaven and hell that her nomination is kicked down and out. Not just because Shrub nominated her, but because she is not friggin' qualified!

    I almost killed NPR this morning when someone (I missed her name) said that the number of women qualified to be Supreme Court justices was very limited. Luckily, someone later said that the number of women candidates that the religious right could accept was limited. I'm guessing that Meiers was nominated not only because there's nothing for democrats to get their teeth in, but also because there's nothing for the right to hit on either.

    Here's my question what was her role in the Schiavo case Dis she advise the president that he should fly back and sign the law What would she have done as a Supreme

    Re: Harriet Miers, White House Counsel for S.Ct. (none / 0) (#15)
    by kdog on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:04:37 PM EST
    She was the head of the Texas Lottery Commission for awhile, the ultimate crony post. She's the perfect choice for a president gambling with our future.

    Harriet Miers may well be EXACTLY what we want. She's a fiercely independant women from the Southwest. She grew up in the Dallas legal community when women who practiced law few and far between. (Though the women who did practice law along side Harriet Miers were excellent lawyers, i.e. Judges Barbara Lynn and Barbara Houser.) While the vast majority of women in Miers generation married and had children, Miers made the rare choice to stay unmarried. Miers found herself elected to positions of leadership, before her turn, only held by men. Miers was a very good lawyer. Miers has the candle power necessary to be an effective justice. More importantly everything about her life suggests that she will NOT follow meekly behind Scalia.

    Re: Harriet Miers, White House Counsel for S.Ct. (none / 0) (#17)
    by desertswine on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:04:37 PM EST
    So Bush picks his ex-personal lawyer. I suppose we should be grateful that he didn't nominate his dentist.

    Re: Harriet Miers, White House Counsel for S.Ct. (none / 0) (#18)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:04:37 PM EST
    Hmmm - Looks like neither side likes her. That tells me she may be fantastic.

    Posted by JimakaPPJ at October 3, 2005 08:45 AM Hmmm - Looks like neither side likes her. That tells me she may be fantastic. First all of a factually incorrect statement and it looks like Jim is from the Roman Hruska wing of the Republican Party After all if you have a mediocre president why not a mediocre court

    From TL last year...
    President Bush yesterday named his long time advisor and former personal lawyer Harriet Miers as White House Counsel. She will replace Alberto Gonzales. I served with Ms. Miers on the Martindale Hubbell-Lexis Nexis Legal Advisory Board for a few years. She resigned in 2000. I didn't get to know her well, but I liked her. We only talked law, not politics, but I'm betting she will be very different from, and a big improvement over, Alberto Gonzales. Congratulations, Harriet.
    Jeralyn: Does your experience with Ms. Miers lead you to believe she'd be a qualified associate justice?

    Re: Harriet Miers, White House Counsel for S.Ct. (none / 0) (#21)
    by Darryl Pearce on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:04:37 PM EST
    Folks! None of the legal and or experience stuff matters! What does matter? Is she married in a heterosexual relationship? Or is she another "confirmed bachelorette" like Condi Rice? Crap! We progressive, intellectual, liberal free-thinkers just can't smear like Rove can smear.

    The Miers SCOTUS selection shows all the defining characteristics of the Bush White House. The cronyism and patronage that wrecked FEMA is now coming to the Supreme Court. To see why Harriet Miers joins the likes of Michael Brown, Joe Allbaugh, and Julie Myers in the Bush Hall of Shame, see: "Banana Republicans."

    We progressive, intellectual, liberal free-thinkers just can't smear like Rove can smear.
    And wouldn't care to, thanks.

    Re: Harriet Miers, White House Counsel for S.Ct. (none / 0) (#24)
    by Darryl Pearce on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:04:38 PM EST
    do you need a list of websites and practitioners of the smear on the left
    I am not under the delusion that those people arrayed against the truth, those people willing to lie, cheat and steal... are unique and exclusive to one political party. I suspect that liars, cheaters, and stealers each have their own reasons for doing what the do... but like convergent evolution makes the shark and the dolphin streamlined, the intent is to move a progressive, intellectual, liberal free-thinker like myself from skepticism into cynicism. And I, for one, refuse to give up my optimism.

    Re: Harriet Miers, White House Counsel for S.Ct. (none / 0) (#25)
    by scarshapedstar on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:04:38 PM EST
    Hmmm - Looks like neither side likes her. That tells me she may be fantastic.
    Golf clap?

    Re: Harriet Miers, White House Counsel for S.Ct. (none / 0) (#26)
    by Sailor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:04:38 PM EST
    Hmmm - Looks like neither side likes her. That tells me she may be fantastic. ... or she's so incompetent even bushlickers can't go for her. "Golf clap?" Now THAT'S what I call a scratch golfer!;-)

    This is why elections are so important. Are those Sour Grapes hurting your teeth? Win an election and retake Congress. Then your point of view will be represented.