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1996 Magazine Article About Harriett Miers:
Evan Schaeffer's Legal Underground has the scoop. Thanks to Michael Cernovich for the link.
countertop (mail):
Hmmm,

Looks pretty good and I dare say she sounds better and better each day - certainly sounds like someone I'd like on the court a whole lot more than a law professor who has spent their entire career in the Ivory Tower thinking about hypotheticals and logical traps but wholly losing sight of the very personal, day to day, impact the law has on people (or corporations who are simply fictional people).

FWIW - the more I hear law professors (and Anne Coulter) complain that she isn't qualified for the court, the more I think she is.
10.6.2005 12:10am
OrinKerr:
Countertop,

I'm curious -- why do you think that professors "los[e] sight of the very personal, day to day, impact the law has on people"? And why do you think a career spent representing large corporations in civil litigation would lead someone to not lose sight of such things?
10.6.2005 12:25am
Zed (mail) (www):
There's a bit of a difference between experience with corporate law and a strong foundation in constitutional law, as I understand it.

I don't have a position yet on this (I'm still scratching my head over being handed a nominee even more obscure than Roberts), but I think it's much too soon to declare competence.
10.6.2005 12:28am
A Guest Who Enjoys This Site:
Alright. She's hard working. She's "one of the guys." She's aggressive and staunch in defending what she believes in. So...

WHAT DOES SHE BELIEVE IN?!?!

This, more than anything else, appears to be the criticism; she has absolutely no discernable record. Pat Buchanan, for all his bluster, said it right (I paraphrase as closely as I can remember it):

We are told that her greatest asset is the lack of any kind of paper trail. You have numerous, highly qualified lawyers and judges who, over the last 15, 20, 30 years, have taken a stand in their publications, legal briefs, arguments, and decisions regarding some of the most contentious, divisive, and controversial issues of our time. Now, in effect, the President has punished these people for having the courage of their convictions by nominating a woman, who over the same time period, has taken virtually no discernable stand or publicly expressed any noteworthy opinion on any of these issues; then rubbing it in by saying that this is precisely why he picked her.

This is my concern. We hear how wonderful a person she is. We hear that she is a wonderful litigator who found her true love in that field. But, we hear absolutely NOTHING except inference, innuendo, and "guesstimation" regarding her judicial philosophy.

I don't care where she stands on any, specific case or how she might rule to overturn Roe. I want to know, beyond the President's assurances and a brief, generalized statement in front of the camera, her judicial philosophy regarding things such as state's rights, individual vs. collective application of the 1st, 2nd, and 4th Amendments, her definition of 'judicial activism,' or establishment vs. prohibition issues related to 'religious display.' You don't like those topics? Then at least pick something that we can definitively point to and say: "Here is where she stands."

SOMETHING is better than the NOTHING we now have.
10.6.2005 12:39am
42USC1983 (mail):
I'm geniunely curious about something. If so many people accept that the Supreme Court makes up the law as it goes along, then do skills like legal reasoning really matter? Shouldn't we care more that an on-the-ground lawyer is rendering mostly just decisions based on her gut? Miers' clerks will be able to take care of the heavy lifting, i.e., persuasively reasoning backwards from conclusion to premises. Miers just needs to make decisions.

Perhaps that's what the president and Miers' supporters are thinking? Indeed, that seemd to be the message beneath the surface of Mr. Brown's letter (which, after all, referred to constitutional theory as "mumbo jumbo).

What say the cynics and legal realists? Should her analytical abilities and credientials matter if her internal compass will steer her well?
10.6.2005 12:59am
Igglephan:
I'll just say it right out: I hate Dallas, I hate its football team, I hate the city, I hate that Kennedy died there, I hated the rodeo (Oh, I was there -- this is an informed opinion), I hated the food, I hated the airport, I hate Texas hair, and, let's face it, there's a Niemann Marcus in King of Prussia. I simply cannot stand Dallas, and anyone from there, I just, a priori hate. (Except for Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys.)

This contributes nothing to the debate, because the only person who matters in all of this is Citizen of Brotherly Love, Arlen Specter.
10.6.2005 1:05am
Blue:
I'll say this: Kirk Watson was the mayor of Austin, and his opinion would carry a LOT of weight.

Someone needs to see if they can het a quote from him....
10.6.2005 1:19am
A Guest Who Enjoys This Site:
For Blue: Kirk Watson, an Austin lawyer, said that he and some other Texas attorneys had been leery of Miers when she became president of the state bar, feeling she might not strongly support legal services for the poor. "But we were surprised," he told Texas Lawyer magazine. "She has a bunch of fans." - Brian Knowles, International Herald Tribune, 4 October 2005

Igglephan: Gee, I thought my time in Texas left me with some harsh, albeit, perhaps unwarranted, exaggerated, and unfair, criticisms of the State. However, your point about Specter is quite on point insofar as a straight up-or-down vote.

42USC1983: As you suggest, I think there is a penchant, not matter what era, for the Court to have some, certain or general result in mind while simultaneously seeking the justification. Frankly, I think that's why queries from the Court are structured the way they are; not as intentional clues as to what they intend, but often as pleas for assistance as to where to look for precedent.

So, in that sense, her analytical skills, assuming competent clerks, mean little. The problem, however, is still the same - What direction is her compass pointed in and is the needle permanently stuck in that position?
10.6.2005 4:35am
Medis:
I'm convinced. She is qualified to be a Texas state court judge, maybe even on the Texas Supreme Court. Or, alternatively, a US District Court Judge.

Wait ... you nominated her for what? Is that a joke?

Incidentally, I love countertop's argument: anyone but a law professor! This just in: you don't have to be a law professor to be far more qualified than Miers. Just ask this new Chief Justice.
10.6.2005 8:53am
Abdul:
Regional law magazines like this one rely on advertising from the local legal hot snot community and publish puff pieces about the local hot snots in order to keep that advertising. They make every mid-level partner look like Oliver Wendell Holmes just so the firm will take out a full page ad.

As a free-market conservative, I'm not saying this is wrong. Paying for ego-fluffing is morally acceptable. But, given the source, don't expect deep insight.
10.6.2005 11:33am
Pete Freans (mail):
The notion that an "intellectual" like Chief Justice Roberts is out-of-touch with reality is absurd. Prior to his confirmation, his friends spoke highly of him in a normal, buddy-like way. Presumably he faces the same struggles as any father/husband/judge/lawyer. Having been blessed with a keen legal mind does not disqualify him from reality.

On the other hand, Ms. Myers seems to be socially connected, civically active, and an aggressive litigator. Does one, I ask, need a special talent for these qualities? 90% of success may be just showing-up (according to Woody Allen), but I don't think it should apply to Supreme Court nominees.

Placing the rhetoric of her conservative foes aside, is Ms. Myers the most qualified candidate to lead our Court and Country into a new jurisprudential era? If the answer is yes, I have still yet to read a plausible reason. It is my sincere hope that the Senate will fully utilize Article II, section 2. The President's belief that he knows her Texas heart is simply not good enough.
10.6.2005 6:04pm