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October 03, 2005

Harriet Miers will be named to replace Sandra Day O'Connor

NPR and other sources are reporting that President Bush will name his current White House Counsel, Harriet Miers, to replace retiring Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor.


Like everyone else in the United States, I know very little about Harriet Miers.  Here's a very short bio released by the White House when she was named White House Counsel.  Basically, it appears that she's - SURPRISE!! - a Bush loyalist.  She's from - SURPRISE!! - Texas, where she was a partner in a law firm, until she came to D.C. to work on the White House staff.

It seems highly unlikely that Miers has ever taken a public position on any issue of any importance that is likely to come before the Supreme Court.  She seems to redefine the notion of a "stealth nominee."  And, quite unlike new Chief Justice John Roberts, she appears to have no significant experience relevant to the Supreme Court.

One report about her, however, posted a few days ago by the very conservative David Frum, does note a particularly important qualification: she apparently hero-worships President Bush, once describing him as the most brilliant man she has ever met.  Yikes.  Here is some of what Frum said about Miers:

She served Bush well, but she is not the person to lead the court in new directions - or to stand up under the criticism that a conservative justice must expect.... This is no time for the president to indulge his loyalty to friends.  All this year, the president has been testing the limits of his support.  Well we are at the limit now, and anything less than a superb choice for the O'Connor vacancy will overstep it.  [UPDATE: Frum has weighed in on the nomination this morning.  He is not pleased.]

This appointment strikes me as Bush at his very worst.  Asked to name a replacement for the most important court in the United States, he reaches into his inner circle, and pulls out a person who looks for all the world to be a crony, a lawyer distinguished only by her particularly zealous devotion to George W. Bush.  We - all Americans - deserve better than this.

Posted by David at 07:35 AM in Law and Lawyers | Permalink


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