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October 03, 2005

The New Nominee

President Bush has nominated White House Council Harriet Miers to replace retiring Associate Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, causing something of a stir among Republicans and the usual scramble for anti-Bush nominee ammunition in the leftist Mainstream Media.

The Democrats naturally won't like the fact that Miers, like newly sworn-in Chief Justice John Roberts, doesn't leave enough of a judicial back-trail for them to sink their teeth into while opposing the confirmation of a Bush nominee for the sole reason that she is, well, a Bush nominee. Right-o, Dems, don't let anything like the good of the country or other picayune details like patriotism stand in your way, just follow the party line and obstruct the president any way you can over every issue possible.

The leftists over at the Village Voice have already brought a guilt by association angle out of the closet, going back to the days when Miers was Texas Lottery whip, and I won't be terribly surprised if that scandal becomes a focal point of the portside attacks.

Miers was chair of the state lottery commission from 1995 to 2000, at a time when the agency was tied up in a case involving Gtech. That’s the company that ran the lottery, and was accused of alleged kickbacks and illegal contracts. The case also involved former lieutenant governor Ben Barnes—the same pol who claimed to have helped the young Bush get into the National Guard.

Hmmm, was accused of...

Never a judge, Miers is a longtime GOP functionary, and has pumped thousands of dollars into the campaigns of right-wing GOP stalwarts in Texas—from Phil Gramm to Kay Bailey Hutchison. It must be noted that in 1988 she gave money to Democrats—$1,000 to Al Gore in his first try for president and $1,000 to Lloyd Bentsen for Senate.

That's pretty much Spin City, as referring to "thousands of dollars," in the minds of most readers, assumes high five digit to six digit figures. In reality, all of Miers' listed contributions over the years total out, according to Newsmeat.com to a walloping $14,770.00, broken down thusly:

$10,500.00 to Republicans, $3,000.00 to Democrats and $1,270.00 to special interests.

Harriet Miers' total net worth is not much over half a million dollars, so she definitely cannot be classified as a "mega-rich" Republican, and therefore the amount of money she has contributed to whatever causes she saw fit to help with is about average in some circles, less than average in others and by no means exceptional. Personally, I could care less how much money she's donated to whom or what, I'm more interested in how she'll perform as a justice in SCOTUS. I only brought it up because we all know some Senate Democrats will consider such things as being of "great import" and make political hay as always, since the President has once again presented them a target with a bulls eye only slightly smaller than the head of a pin.

Reading her bio, I can't fail to be impressed by Harriet Miers, I mean here's a woman who's demonstrated that she could have broken the six digit income barrier a long time ago in the private sector, but selflessly devoted her legal and leadership talents instead to public service.

Important also, as quoted in the Wall Street Journal article, is the fact that she served as an attorney, prior to joining the Bush staff, in the "real world" of business Law, and brought that experience with her to Washington, concentrating on doing a good job rather than on being any kind of political "hack."

Ms. Miers also has more of a business track record than many of the other candidates whose names were floated in recent days. The White House biographical sheet made a point of noting her experience as a lawyer for major corporations.

The choice "should be heartening to business lawyers who often feel that [Supreme Court] decisions aren't connected to the realities they deal with," said Reginald Brown, a former associate White House counsel in the Bush administration who now represents financial institutions in Washington. "She's a conservative, but better known within the White House for her careful attention to detail than for waging ideological battles."
Politicians across the spectrum have been bracing for a fight over Mr. Bush's nominee because Justice O'Connor, a moderate on social issues, has been the swing vote on key questions like abortion and campaign finance. Chief Justice Roberts, in contrast, succeeded the late William Rehnquist, and was seen as swapping one conservative vote for another conservative vote.

There will, of course, be accusations of Bush "cronyism" coming from the left. Again, from the WSJ article:

Eager to rebut any charges of cronyism, the White House produced statistics showing that 10 of the 34 Justices appointed since 1933 had worked for the president who picked them. Among them were the late Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist, first tapped for the court by Richard M. Nixon, and Byron White, whose president was John F. Kennedy.

As I said after Mr. Bush first nominated Roberts as the replacement for O'Connor prior to the death of former Chief Justice William Rehnquist, I believe the Miers nomination, too, to be an attempt to offer up a moderate candidate that most Democrats in the Senate, despite their party's "oppose Bush no matter what" policy, could accept without turning the confirmation hearings into a bloodbath of filibustering and embarrassing{for them} invective.

This does much to demonstrate that our President, unlike most of those politicians representing our nation's Democratic Party, is a true gentleman.

Certainly, Republicans were, for the most part, hoping for a nominee whose track record reflected a solid, hard right political perspective to counter the liberal leaning side of the Court and there were a number of potential candidates who would have met that criteria, but as we've seen in the last couple of years, the President has been reluctant, for whatever his reasons may be, to take advantage of the conservative majority in both the Senate and the House and institute much needed changes.

Personally, I think he's squandering the "chance of a lifetime," but he's the guy I'd vote for to serve a third term if it was allowed and I'll go with his choice of nominee. He and Miers have worked together for many years now, and it is to be presumed that he knows where she stands on issues that will come before the court in the years to come.

Here is an excerpt from her bio, linked above:

Ms. Miers has a long and distinguished professional career.

Before joining the President’s staff, she was Co-Managing Partner at Locke Liddell & Sapp, LLP from 1998-2000. She had worked at the Locke Purnell, Rain & Harrell firm, or its predecessor, from 1972 until its merger with the Liddell Sapp firm. From 1995 until 2000, she was chair of the Texas Lottery Commission. In 1992, Harriet became the first woman president of the Texas State Bar, and in 1985 she became the first woman president of the Dallas Bar Association. She also served as a Member-At-Large on the Dallas City Council.

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.

Ms. Miers had a distinguished career as a trial litigator, representing such clients as Microsoft, Walt Disney Co. and SunGard Data Systems Inc. Moreover, when she left her law firm of Locke, Liddell & Sapp, Ms. Miers was serving as Co-Managing Partner of the firm which had more than 400 lawyers.

Throughout her career, Ms. Miers has been committed to public service. In addition to her extensive involvement in the State Bar of Texas and the American Bar Association, Ms. Miers has been an elected official, a statewide officeholder, and a strong advocate of pro bono work.

During her time in the Administration, Ms. Miers has addressed numerous legal and policy questions at the highest levels of decision making, most recently serving as the Counsel to the President of the United States.

From where I sit, no matter what kind of anti-Bush partisan politics the Democrats, snivelling under the leadership of their America hating socialist liberal masters offer up, Harriet Miers seems eminently qualified for the position of Associate Justice.

Posted by Seth at October 3, 2005 12:41 PM


Yes! We'll get unconstitutional Brown v Board overtuned within 5 years!

Posted by: Jesus at October 4, 2005 07:26 AM

60 and single? Show us her cats.

Posted by: Walter E. Wallis at October 4, 2005 07:48 PM

Jesus: Brown vs Board of Ed is constitutional, as we Americans are guaranteed equal rights under the Law.

I might also point out that a more conservative SCOTUS would be less likely to rule via bigotry, as if you'll reexamine history, you'll find that most anti-black groups, such as the KKK, were founded and staffed by Democrats.

Posted by: Seth at October 4, 2005 08:34 PM

Also, you will note, for instance, in Charles Rangel's comment about George Bush being like Bull Connor in the Sixties, i.e. a racist, that Bull Connor was a Democrat.

Just like current racists Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, Robert Byrd, Sheila Jackson Lee, and Cynthia McKinney to name a few.

Posted by: Oze at October 5, 2005 08:23 AM

Exactly. The people who purport to "defend" minorities against racism are the ones who are perpetuating the racism to begin with, and that racism's coming from the left, not the right.

And Sharpton has incited violence through hate speech, not unlike terrorism's fundamentalist Muslim clerics, that has resulted in property destruction and murder.

Posted by: Seth at October 5, 2005 08:49 AM