September 27, 2005

Harriet Miers?

A new name surfaces in the O'Connor replacement talk:
Bush on Monday hinted he might choose a woman or minority member. But some outside advisers were intrigued by another part of Bush's reply. The president said he had interviewed and considered people from "all walks of life."

That raised speculation that Bush was actively considering people who were not on the bench -- such as Miers....

"It could be someone outside of the legal judicial field like a Larry Thompson, or it could be a senator," said Jay Sekulow, chief counsel for the American Center for Law and Justice, a public interest legal group founded by religious broadcaster Pat Robertson.

Sekulow said he's heard Miers' name mentioned "fairly significantly" during the past two days. She doesn't have judicial experience, but she's a "well-respected lawyer-- someone the president trusts."

"I think Harriet could certainly be in the mix," he said....

Miers is leading the White House effort to help Bush choose nominees to the Supreme Court so naming her would follow a move Bush made in 2000 when he tapped the man leading his search committee for a running mate -- Dick Cheney.
The old Cheney maneuver!

Here's the White House press release from when she was elevated to the position vacated by Alberto Gonzales:
"Harriet Miers is a trusted adviser, on whom I have long relied for straightforward advice. Harriet has the keen judgment and discerning intellect necessary to be an outstanding Counsel. She is a talented lawyer whose great integrity, legal scholarship, and grace have long marked her as one of America's finest lawyers. I have deep respect for Harriet and look forward to her continued counsel in this new role," stated President Bush.

Ms. Miers currently serves as Assistant to the President and Deputy Chief of Staff. Most recently, she served as Assistant to the President and Staff Secretary. Prior to joining the White House staff, Ms. Miers was Co-Managing Partner at Locke Liddell & Sapp, LLP, where she helped manage an over 400-lawyer firm. Previously, she was President of Locke, Purnell, Rain & Harrell, where she worked for 26 years. In 1992, Ms. Miers became the first woman elected Texas State Bar President following her selection in 1985 as the first woman to become 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 and J.D. from Southern Methodist University.
Interesting!

UPDATE: For many more posts about Harriet Miers, go to the October 3 posts on blog.

23 comments:

Gene C Evans said...

She sounds like too much of a political animal. After Earl Warren I find it unlikely that a non-lawyer will be chosen for the court. Ever again.

Gene

Ann Althouse said...

How can you call her a non-lawyer?? You must mean non-judge.

Rehnquist was a non-judge.

Mark Kaplan said...

Well of course there was Sherman Minton.

stealthlawprof said...

There has never been a non-lawyer on the Supreme Court. There have been lots of people who had not previously served as judges. Powell and Rehnquist are the most recent ones without prior judicial service, but the expectation of judicial service is mostly a modern phenomenon (and not necessarily a good thing). Some of the great justices of all time had no prior judicial service -- e.g., John Marshall, Robert Jackson.

Speaking of the Cheney precedent, Rehnquist, too, was involved in the selection process and had to be excluded when his name was put in play.

That said, I doubt the Meiers rumor will amount to anything.

Pat Patterson said...

Actually could be an interesting choice as Harriet Miers seems to have been respected from early on. TalkLeft endorsed(well congratulated) her in a post from 11/18/04. Sorry don't know how to provide a link.

Gil said...

How old is she?

F said...

She could be palatable enough - she's not that right....
Nice variation on 'jobs for the boys' though

Gene C Evans said...

My mistake.

I read this: "It could be someone outside of the legal judicial field like a Larry Thompson, or it could be a senator" and started thinking 'politician', not lawyer.

Okay, she's a lawyer but she still looks too political to me. I am skeptical about political types because I think they tend to be too results oriented in their decision making. I prefer the Oliver Wendell Holmes approach of enforcing the rules whether you agree with them or not.

Gene

Patrick Franklin said...

Don't forget that O'Connor herself did not rise through the ranks of the appellate courts to become a Supreme Court Justice. She was elevated to the court from the Arizona State Legislature.

The President was right when he said this week that diversity should be a factor in choosing the new justice. Let's not just look at diversity of gender and skin color, though. Let us consider having justices who have had a diversity of life experience. Harriet Miers certainly has that quality in spades.

whitedog said...

I just watched Bush's announcement. Am I the only one who heard him rattle off her membership and associations, mention that Miers did work, or supported the Exodus Ministries? Aren't they the anti-gay group who try to turn gay people away from homosexuality through Jesus?? Seems a little bit of a radical slant for a nominee. Good God.

Ray Jenkins said...

Actually, there was one justice -- Samuel Miller -- who was barely a lawyer. He was a physician by training and studied law on his own. He was nominated by Lincoln in 1862 and served, with considerable distinction, until his death in 1890. I think, but am not certain, that he wrote the court's opinion in the Slaughterhouse Cases.

dhl said...

My guess is that she volunteered for a Dallas organization called Exodus Ministy, Inc. that helps transition people with families when they are released from prison... Their mission seems wholly unrelated to the Exodus Ministries that is anti-homosexual. Here is the website... http://www.exodusministriesinc.com/

blogwalla said...

The beauty of this nomination is that although she reeks of cronyism - a fellow Texan w/o judge experience who ran the local lottery (Arabian Horse Association, anyone?) -- is still just qualified enough for Bush to serve her up as a nominee.

One may conjecture that he's actually offering up a sacrificial lamb -- and either he'll get his way (and she'll be confirmed) or the Dems will be forced to skewer a woman (and risk looking like sexist obstructionists).

Tinnitis Zine said...

Walking "All walks of life" to President Bush simply means someone like Harriet Meiers who has walked the Republican strut, the Christian corridor, the corporate ladder, and the monied highway of crony-ism.

Meier is neither diverse nor experienced, outside the realm of Texas law (as opposed to Constitutional law) and she will no doubt, follow Chief Justice John Roberts wherever he leads her.
This is what I believe President Bush has in mind.

Texas Republicans (Tom Delay, Kenny "Boy" Lay included) will be delighted with Harriet Meiers.

The rest of us should be frightened of the Roberts/Meiers combo. The word "balanced" can no logner be applied to the highest court in America.

commentdejour said...

I've wondered about women as justices after Roe v. Wade. After all, they are the only ones who might have had an abortion. In my experience most professional women I have known (at least well enough to tell me) have had abortions.

Maybe it wont be so bad. Famous last words.

txwikinger said...

I guess the nomination makes it a little more difficult for the lawyers arguing cases in front of the SCOTUS since they just don't know how to persuade the new justices.

It will also give the law community some more exitement to read the judgments written by them.

Think Frustrated said...

I do think she is benefiting from the cronyism, but will there be a more acceptable choice? I agree that this was a political chess move by Bush to kind of trap the Dems so that if they block her, they look like the bad guys. Knight to bishop 5, check!

BunjiKuga said...

Are you kidding me....They all look like the bad guys any way. We just approved a supreme court justice with only 3 years of judicial experience as a federal judge.
This women is and has been bush's personal lawyer and part of his counsel going back to bush's 1994 campaign for governer. SHE HAS NEVER BEEN A JUDGE....LETS SET THE TYPE OF PRECEDENT THAT SLAPS THE IDEA OF MERITOCRACY IN THE FACE........How can we even be talking about this...she not only has no qualifications....she has adverse incentives in shortsiding the American people in favor of the w.house view of things. The rubber stamp senate could very well aprove this...this is like the twilight zone or something.....
The world swings backwards everyday.........and the american people take the s*** happily in the face

AZFlyer said...

Bunji,

What Precedent? I don't understand. Rehnquist, Powell and several others were not judges. So what precedent is being set? Please explain

Hank said...

60 year old , never been married, Is anyone going to be bold enough to bring up homosexuality, now that would be diversity for Mr. Bush. Dick Cheney would be snickering in the background.

Nick said...

Perhas the really significant precedent centers on her lack of intellectual credentials for the job. After all, a JD from Southern Methodist wouldn't get you an assistant professorship at a second rate law school. However the democrats may well support her because they are afraid of who Bush may nominate next. Remember the Bork-Thomas secenario?

dogmom said...

I was horrified when I heard of her ties to Bush for so long, being in his pocket, so to speak, but felt something must be OK if so many conservatives are upset with the choice. Maybe she's not all bad?

Bridget said...

I do not understand all of the slanderous comments about Harriet Meiers because people don't know her. Qualified people get hired into jobs everyday that have not had actual experience in that Job...that doesn't mean they are not qualified. I happen to personally know Harriet and she will be an independent thinker and will make decisions based on Constitutional law regardless of her own opinions and beliefs. People need to stop the bashing unless they have some actual hard core facts to back up their comments.