Miers is high court pick

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREThe top 10 theme park moments of 2019 “There’s some disappointment out there,” conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh told Vice President Dick Cheney, a guest on the show Monday. “We got people saying that they’re depressed and they’re thinking that this is a decision that has let them down. And they’re, frankly, a little worn out having to appease the left.” “You’ll be proud of Harriet’s record, Rush. Trust me,” Cheney replied. Miers was born in Dallas and graduated from Southern Methodist University and the SMU law school. She spent more than a quarter century in private practice in Texas, representing blue-chip corporations like Microsoft and Disney. She spent one term on the Dallas City Council and six years chairing the Texas Lottery Commission. Along the way, Miers racked up a series of firsts, according to her White House biography. She was the first woman hired by a prestigious Dallas law firm, the first to head the firm, the first woman president of the Dallas Bar Association and, a few years later, the first female president of the State Bar of Texas. Aside from her allegiance to Bush, little is known of Miers’ political beliefs. In the 1980s, she donated money to Democratic candidates Al Gore and Lloyd Bentsen. As head of the Texas bar in 1993, she helped lead an unsuccessful effort to get the American Bar Association to reconsider its pro-abortion rights position and submit the issue to its members for a vote. “Harriet Miers will strictly interpret our Constitution and laws. She will not legislate from the bench,” Bush said Monday in announcing his choice. Miers, who is single, worked for Bush in Texas politics and as his personal lawyer. As governor, he once called her a “pit bull in Size 6 shoes.” She came to Washington after the 2000 election, performing various duties on the White House staff before being named counsel last year. Miers is the kind of nominee who would “benefit the Supreme Court by providing a voice and perhaps a perspective on the world outside of the Beltway here in Washington; someone who does not come from inside the insular environment,” said Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas. As White House counsel, one of Miers’ top responsibilities was to interview and supervise the vetting of potential candidates for Supreme Court vacancies. As with Cheney, who presided over the vice-presidential selection process for candidate Bush in 2000, the president ended up choosing the person doing the screening. Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., ranking Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, said that Miers’ independence could become an issue in the Senate. “I don’t have any problem with her loyalty to President Bush. He’s brought her from Texas, put her into a couple of very powerful positions. They, obviously, are friends,” Leahy told reporters in Vermont. But “no one should vote for somebody that’s going to be a political apparatchik for either the Democratic Party or the Republican Party.” The left-wing activist group, MoveOn.Org, was more blunt. “Bush Nominates Crony for Supreme Court,” read the headline on its press release. But Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., who led liberal Democrats in their unsuccessful attempt to defeat the nomination of Chief Justice John Roberts, expressed relief. “We just don’t know very much” about Miers’ record, said Schumer. But “given the fact that the extreme wing of the president’s party was demanding someone of fealty to their views, this is a good first day in the process.” Social conservatives were muted in their reaction. “President Bush has long made it clear that his choices for the U.S. Supreme Court would be in the mold of current justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas,” said Family Research Council president Tony Perkins. “We have no reason to believe he has abandoned that standard. However, our lack of knowledge about Harriet Miers, and the absence of a record on the bench, give us insufficient information from which to assess whether or not she is indeed in that mold.” There is no requirement that a Supreme Court nominee be a judge. Indeed, several past Supreme Court justices — including former chief justices William Rehnquist and Earl Warren — had no experience on the bench before joining the nation’s highest court. The Senate staff will now collect reams of information on Miers, to prepare for hearings before the Judiciary Committee. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn., announced his goal to have the Senate vote by Thanksgiving.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! WASHINGTON — President Bush turned to his staff Monday and nominated Harriet Miers, White House counsel and a longtime political ally, to fill the seat of retiring Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor. The 60-year-old Miers brings with her a compelling personal story as a trailblazing woman lawyer in her native Texas, but has no judicial experience and a slim record of legal writings and actions that might signal her views about abortion and other contentious issues. Democratic leaders cautiously praised the choice, while promising to probe Miers’ views in the confirmation process. Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid met reporters with Miers beside him and announced, “Without any qualification … I’m very happy that we have someone like her.” Senate Republican leaders lined up behind Miers as well, despite griping from some in their conservative constituencies.last_img read more