Author Topic: Bush chooses White House counsel Harriet Miers for Supreme Court  (Read 593 times)

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Title: Bush chooses White House counsel Harriet Miers for Supreme Court
Source: Newsday
Published: Oct 3, 2005

WASHINGTON -- President Bush has chosen Harriet Miers, White House counsel and a loyal member of the president's inner circle, to replace retiring Justice Sandra Day O'Connor on the Supreme Court, a senior administration official said Monday.

If confirmed by the Republican-controlled Senate, Miers, 60, would join Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg as the second woman on the nation's highest court.

Miers, who has never been a judge, was the first woman to serve as president of the Texas State Bar and the Dallas Bar Association.

Without a judicial record, it's difficult to know whether Miers would dramatically move the court to the right. She would fill the shoes of O'Connor, a swing voter on the court for years who has cast deciding votes on some affirmative action, abortion and death penalty cases.

Known for thoroughness and her low-profile, Miers is one of the first staff members to arrive at the White House in the morning and among the last to leave.

When Bush named her White House counsel in November 2004, the president described Miers as a lawyer with keen judgment and discerning intellect -- "a trusted adviser on whom I have long relied for straightforward advice."

He also joked of Miers, "When it comes to a cross-examination, she can filet better than Mrs. Paul."

Miers has been leading the White House effort to help Bush choose nominees to the Supreme Court, so getting the nod herself duplicates a move that Bush made in 2000 when he tapped the man leading his search committee for a vice presidential running mate -- Dick Cheney.

Conservatives call Miers a top-notch lawyer who understands the limited role they say judges should play in society. In nominating Miers, they say Bush is reaffirming his commitment to picking judges who will respect the letter of the law and not allow cultural or social trends sway their opinions.

"Harriet Miers is a top-notch lawyer who understands the limited role that judges play in our society," said Noel Francisco, former assistant White House counsel and deputy assistant attorney general during the Bush administration. "In nominating Ms. Miers, the president has reaffirmed his commitment to appointing judges who will respect the rule of law and not legislate from the bench."

With no record, liberals say the White House should be prepared for Miers to be peppered with questions during her Senate confirmation.

"Choosing somebody who is not a judge would put that much more of a premium on straight answers to questions because there would be that much less for senators and the public to go on when looking at such a nominee's judicial philosophy," says Elliot Mincberg, counsel with the liberal People for the American Way.

Formerly Bush's personal lawyer in Texas, Miers came with the president to the White House as his staff secretary, the person in charge of all the paperwork that crosses the Oval Office desk. Miers was promoted to deputy chief of staff in June 2003.

Miers, a single, soft-spoken woman who guards her personal privacy, has led a trailblazing career. She grew up in Dallas, earning her undergraduate and law degrees from Southern Methodist University.

As an attorney in Dallas, Miers became president in 1996 of Locke Purnell, Rain & Harrell a firm with more than 200 lawyers where she worked starting in 1972. After it merged a few years later, she became co-manager of Locke Liddell & Sapp.

When Bush was governor of Texas, she represented him in a case involving a fishing house. In 1995, he appointed her to a six-year term on the Texas Lottery Commission.

She also served as a member-at-large on the Dallas City Council. In 1992, she became the first women president of the Texas State Bar. She was the first woman of the Dallas Bar Association in 1985.

Pete Shane, a law professor at The Ohio State University, predicted that "it's going to be a long drawn-out exercise."

Noting criticism of Bush's choice of Michael Brown to head the Federal Emergency Management Agency, a man who was later demoted and then resigned after a sluggish governmental response to Hurricane Katrina, Shane said of Bush: "He's going to pick his best friend in the White House counsel's office to be on the Supreme Court? It seems like a flat-footed thing to do."
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Offline D_Joyce

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Re: Bush chooses White House counsel Harriet Miers for Supreme Court
« Reply #1 on: October 03, 2005, 08:08:44 AM »
SMU educated and single almost shout raving liberal.
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