Bil Browning

Are we surprised?

Filed By Bil Browning | October 03, 2005 1:35 PM | comments

Filed in: Politics

ShrubCo announced his choice to replace retiring Supreme Court justice Sandra Day O'Connor this morning. In keeping with all of this corrupt administration's nominations for important positions in government, he has picked someone with no experience as a judge. ShrubCo's pick is White House insider Harriet Miers. Miers is a lawyer who has served ShrubCo since he was a sapling in Texas. She's a close personal friend of W's and sat on the committee charged with finding a suitable replacement for the retiring O'Connor.
It was the second time Bush filled a key government position with a person involved in the search process. In 2000 Dick Cheney had led Bush's search for a vice presidential candidate and ended up with the job. Miers had been on the search committee to find a replacement for O'Connor.

White House spokesman Scott McClellan said Bush met with her four times, on September 21, 28 and 29 and on Sunday night, when he offered her the job over dinner in the White House residence.

She was among six women in a group of 12 to 15 candidates considered for the position, said McClellan.

Bush credited Miers with breaking down barriers to women in the Texas legal profession, becoming the first woman to head her Dallas law firm, the first woman president of the Dallas Bar Association and the first woman elected president of the state bar of Texas.

Hey - what did we expect? Michael Brown (former head of FEMA) worked for the Arabian Horse Association. This administration is full of cronyism. At least this time she was in the legal field - even if only as a lawyer who has never argued before the Supreme Court...

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AUTHOR: Advance Indiana

DATE: 10/03/2005 09:30:16 PM

Bil,You couldn't be more wrong about Harriet Miers. Don't look a gift horse in the mouth my friend.Gary

AUTHOR: Bil Browning

DATE: 10/04/2005 12:05:45 AM

Nominees to the Supreme Court are supposed to be individuals with serious records of achievement in the law. Consider those who have been confirmed over the past quarter-century: John Roberts (Harvard Law School, law clerk to Justice William Rehnquist, among the finest appellate advocates in the nation); Stephen Breyer (law clerk to Justice Arthur Goldberg, distinguished scholar of constitutional and administrative law at Harvard Law School, judge of the United States Court of Appeals for fifteen years); Ruth Bader Ginsburg (professor at Columbia Law School, one of the nation’s leading Supreme Court advocates, judge of the United States Court of Appeals for thirteen years); Clarence Thomas (Yale Law School, chairman of U.S. Equal Opportunity Commission, judge of the United States Court of Appeals); David Souter (Rhodes Scholar, Harvard Law School, justice of the New Hampshire Supreme Court, judge of the U.S Court of Appeals); Anthony Kennedy (Harvard Law School, professor of constitutional law for twenty-three years, judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for thirteen years); Antonin Scalia (influential scholar of constitutional and administrative law at the University of Chicago, judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for five years); Sandra Day O’Connor (Stanford Law School, majority leader of the Arizona senate, state court judge for six years).Now consider Ms. Miers. She received her law degree in 1970 from Southern Methodist University, which is not even among the top fifty law schools in the nation. She then spent thirty years as a commercial litigator with a law firm in Dallas. Her most notable achievement before President Bush retained her as his private lawyer in 1993 was a brief stint as president of the Texas State Bar. After she made her connection with then-Governor Bush, he appointed her head of the Texas Lottery Commission. The president then brought her with him to Washington as White House Secretary, and last year appointed her White House counsel. From there to the United States Supreme Court? Even nominees who have not been confirmed – Robert Bork, Douglas Ginzberg, Clement Haynesworth, (even) G. Harrold Carswell – were far more qualified that Ms. Miers.

AUTHOR: Advance Indiana

DATE: 10/04/2005 08:40:17 AM

Bil,I'm surprised that you would buy into that elitist view that only attorneys who graduated from Harvard, Yale or Stanford are eligible for consideration to the Supreme Court. Like Miers, I am a graduate of one of those mid-tier law schools you speak of so dismissively. To suggest that these schools are not capable of generating equally qualified attorneys to serve on the Supreme Court is an insult to our entire legal system. Indeed, by your standard, the self-taught Abraham Lincoln would have been just a flunky attorney. In reality, he was recognized by his peers as one of the nation's best attorneys of his time. Miers' law school, Southern Methodist University is a highly respected school in Texas and throughout the country. She excelled as a law student there, making law review. The fact that she didn't attend Harvard or Yale may say more about the relatively modest background she came from more than anything else.The fact is that not a single sitting member of the Court has as much experience in the practice of law as Miers. She spent more than three decades as a business litigator. You act as if this is nothing--to attorneys who practice real law--it is a big deal. Thomas had virtually no experience in the private practice of law--his time at the EEOC was spent in an administrative capacity, not as a practicing attorney. O'Connor had scant litigation experience; her best experience was serving as a state senator, but at least she had some practical experience in the practice of law as a local government attorney unlike many of the current sitting members. Scalia, too, had little experience in private practice. Most of them have practiced law at the theoretical level inside the beltway. Miers has been in the trenches doing substantive legal work and putting cases into the sytem that judges like Scalia can apply their theoretical legalisms to. I do hope you will keep and open mind and reconsider your initial assessment of her qualifications.


DATE: 10/04/2005 12:45:11 PM

Gary,As you pointed out, Miers has significant professional credentials. As well, this mornings Advance Indiana post hinted that she may be opened minded regarding queer issues and that is certainly encouraging. However, my greater concern is her lifetime career as a big business litigator. Can you give us any insight concerning her judicial philosophy on the subject of, say, privatization?