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HNN Poll: Do You Favor the Appointment of Harriet Miers?

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Profiles of Harriet Miers

  • Wa Po Profile:

    Harriet Ellan Miers was born in Dallas on Aug. 10, 1945. Miers received her bachelor's degree in mathematics in 1967 and JD in 1970 from Southern Methodist University. Upon graduation, she clerked for U.S. District Judge Joe E. Estes from 1970 to 1972. In 1972, Miers became the first woman hired at Dallas's Locke Purnell Boren Laney & Neely.

    In March 1996, her colleagues elected her the first woman president of Locke, Purnell, Rain & Harrell, at that time a firm of about 200 lawyers. She became the first woman to lead a Texas firm of that size.
  • NYT Profile:

    The parallels to the woman she would replace are apparent. Both were born in Texas. Both graduated at the top of their law school class, and yet had trouble finding jobs. Both served in elective office, Justice O'Connor in the Arizona State Senate and Ms. Miers a single two-year term on the Dallas City Council, but neither had been a federal judge. Both have now made history - beyond their wildest early dreams.

    "I really came out of high school believing I wasn't bright enough to be a doctor," Ms. Miers told The Dallas Morning News in 1991."Career days at high school, you just got no encouragement."


      All of the following quotations showed up on Richard Jensen's conservative.net list within hours of President Bush's nomination of Harriet Miers.

      • David Frum:

        "You can always count on George W. Bush to get the big ones right." That line or something like it has consoled conservatives during their periodic bursts of unhappiness with this administration. And by and large it has been true. Oh, there were major mistakes, no doubt about that - prescription drugs, steel quotas, and so on - but it was always possible to rationalize those as forced on the president by grim necessity or some prior campaign promise.

        The Miers nomination, though, is an unforced error. Unlike the Roberts'nomination, which confirmed the previous balance on the court, the O'Connor resignation offered an opportunity to change the balance. This is the moment for which the conservative legal movement has been waiting for two decades - two decades in which a generation of conservative legal intellects of the highest ability have moved to the most distinguished heights in the legal profession. On the nation's appellate courts, in legal academia, in private practice, there are dozens and dozens of principled conservative jurists in their 40s and 50s unassailably qualified for the nation's highest court. Yes, Democrats might have complained. But if Democrats had gone to war against a Michael Luttig or a Sam Alito or a Michael McConnell, they would have had to fight without weapons: the personal and intellectual excellence of these candidates would have made it obvious that the Democrats' only real principle was a kind of legal Brezhnev doctrine: that the court's balance must remain forever what it was in the days when Democrats had a majority of the votes in the US Senate - in other words, what we have, we hold. Not a very attractive doctrine, and not very winnable either.

        The Senate would have confirmed Luttig, Alito, or McConnell. It certainly would have confirmed a Senator Mitch McConnell or a Senator Jon Kyle, had the president felt even a little nervous about the ultimate vote.

        There was no reason for him to choose anyone but one of these outstanding conservatives.
      • Historian Larry Schweikart:

        Doesn't look bad at all. Only to Bush haters. This will be a humungeous victory. Oh, and need I bring up the"millstone around Bush's neck" prediction made by one of our list members? My record of predictions on these matters, I think, speaks for itself. She's a goodie.
      • Michael Visser:

        It should suffice to quote HAMILTON, Fed. 76:"To what purpose then require the co-operation of the Senate? I answer, that the necessity of their concurrence would have a powerful, though, in general, a silent operation. It would be an excellent check upon a spirit of favoritism in the President, and would tend greatly to prevent the appointment of unfit characters from State prejudice, from family connection, from personal attachment, or from a view to popularity."