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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2005

    We Love Miers and So Should You

    Texas Justices to Nation: We Love Miers and So Should You


    Brenda Sapino Jeffreys
    Texas Lawyer

    If words of support were billable hours, the Bush administration racked up a big bill on Monday, when six former Texas Supreme Court justices flew to Washington, D.C., to help convince the public that Texas-lawyer-turned-White House-counsel Harriet Miers deserves to be on the U.S. Supreme Court.

    After meeting with President George W. Bush on Monday morning, the bipartisan group of former justices talked up Miers' accomplishments and talents during a press conference on the White House driveway with members of the national press corps.

    "Clearly we wanted to convey to the country that people in Texas know Harriet, they have confidence in her," says Craig Enoch, a former justice on the Texas Supreme Court who is now a shareholder in Winstead Sechrest & Minick in Austin.

    Former Chief Justice John L. Hill Jr. says the White House asked him and the other former justices to talk about why Miers will make a good justice on the U.S. Supreme Court. In his view, the press conference was successful because, even for a day, it helped change the focus of the debate about Miers' qualifications.

    "It turned out to be a huge success, from all of the playback," Hill says. "It was absolutely the right thing to do to change the emphasis on what was being discussed."

    Hill, a partner in Winstead in Houston, served on the Texas Lottery Commission with Miers and is a former partner in Locke Liddell & Sapp, the firm she helped manage before joining the Bush administration in 2001.

    The ex-Supreme Court justices weren't the only Texas lawyers heeding a call to help shore up support for Miers. On Wednesday, for instance, 13 former Dallas Bar Association presidents and the current president, Baker Botts partner Tim W. Mountz, held a press conference to talk about Miers.

    One of the former DBA honchos, Darrell Jordan, managing partner of the Dallas office of Godwin Gruber who is also a former State Bar of Texas president, says he and some other former State Bar presidents planned to travel to Washington today to publicly endorse Miers' nomination.

    THE D.C. WAY

    In addition to Hill and Enoch, the group of former Texas Supreme Court justices who went to Washington, D.C., for Miers includes Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott; Raul Gonzalez, now of counsel at Locke Liddell in Austin; James Baker, a partner in Hughes & Luce in Dallas; and Eugene Cook, a retired partner in Houston-based Bracewell & Giuliani.

    Former Chief Justice Tom Phillips says he was also asked to go on the jaunt to the nation's capital, but could not make the trip because of a personal emergency. But Phillips, Hill and Joe Greenhill, another former chief justice who is now of counsel at Baker Botts in Austin, sent a joint letter on Oct. 14 to the Senate Judiciary Committee in support of Miers.

    "We feel confident that we know what it takes to be a justice -- Harriet Miers exceeds that mark," the trio of justices wrote in the letter.

    Jack Pope, another former chief justice, says he also wrote a letter to the Judiciary Committee in support of Miers.

    "I've known her as president of the State Bar. I think she's able and competent, and they attack her by saying she doesn't understand constitutional law," says Pope, now retired in Austin. "I think maybe the whole court would benefit to have somebody who's actually been trying those cases and trying them before a jury."

    Phillips, a partner in Baker Botts in Austin, says Miers is well-qualified because of her experience in the courtroom, her stint in firm management and her government service. He gives short shrift to arguments that she's unqualified, because she has not been a judge, or because she went to law school at Southern Methodist University in Dallas.

    "These are all make-weight arguments, because somebody is mad about something," Phillips says.

    But why did six prominent Texas justices need to fly to Washington, D.C., to tell the nation, through reporters, that Miers is well respected in Texas and qualified to fill retiring Justice Sandra Day O'Connor's seat on the U.S. Supreme Court?

    Hill says that's a good question, but one he can't answer. "You explain Washington to me. I can't explain it to you."

    "It's necessary because there are a whole lot of people who don't know Harriet Miers who decided to dump on her as unqualified, as not a serious thinker or too obsessed with detail," says Phillips. "I don't think it would be necessary if people were behaving themselves up there."

    Enoch notes, "Apparently nobody hears it unless you go to D.C. to say it."

    "It's a sad commentary on what the process has become," says Gonzalez.

    Jordan and Mountz say Progress for America, a Washington, D.C., conservative fund-raising group, arranged for and partially paid for the press event in Dallas, and Jordan says the group is helping to arrange his upcoming trip to Washington. The group also worked on the logistics of the former justices' trip and will "sponsor them financially," says Progress for America spokeswoman Jessica Boulanger.

    Several of the former justices who made the trip, including Baker, Gonzalez and Hill, say they paid for their travel. Jim Dyke, a special assistant to the president who is working on the Miers nomination, says Project for America will cover the cost of each ex-justice's trip to Washington, D.C., if they want to be reimbursed.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2005

    Re: We Love Miers and So Should You

    Washington: President George Bush's controversial supreme court nominee, Harriet Miers, stumbled at her first formal hurdle when the Senate asked her to rewrite answers to a questionnaire on her background and opinions.

    It was the first time US legal observers could recall a Supreme Court nominee being asked to redo the questionnaire, usually regarded as a formality. The request is an embarrassment for an Administration struggling to regain its balance in a hailstorm of scandals and mistakes.

    Ms Miers's initial responses on Thursday were insufficient, said Arlen Specter, the Republican chairman of the judiciary committee, which will hold hearings on her nomination next month.

    Patrick Leahy, his Democratic counterpart, called her answers "incomplete to insulting".

    The two senators sent Ms Miers a stiffly worded letter asking for more complete answers on issues such as potential conflicts of interest inherited from her time as Mr Bush's personal lawyer and White House counsel, details of private discussions with conservative interest groups about her nomination, and the details surrounding the temporary suspension of her membership of the Washington DC Bar Association, apparently for failure to pay dues.

    Ms Miers wrote back to say she would respond to the follow-up questions, which the senators want answered by the end of next week, in time for confirmation hearings to begin on November 7. She also revealed that her Texas bar membership had been interrupted by non-payment of subscriptions, apparently due to a clerical error.

    The Miers nomination has turned out to be a continual source of trouble for the White House. It enraged many Christian conservatives, who harbour doubts about her commitment to the anti-abortion cause. The emergence of a 1989 document in which she signalled her support for a constitutional amendment banning abortion caused uproar among Democrats while failing to placate critics on the right.

    Meanwhile, conservatives and liberals agree that, whatever her beliefs, her credentials, as a former Texas corporate lawyer, are thin, and her deferential relationship with Mr Bush raises doubts about her independence as a Supreme Court judge.

    On Thursday Mr Bush attributed controversy over her nomination to her being a lawyer, not a judge. "I thought it made a lot of sense to bring a fresh outlook of somebody who's actually been a very successful attorney, and a pioneer for women lawyers in Texas," he said.

    The Guardian


  3. #3
    tommywho70x Guest

    Re: We Love Miers and So Should You

    Though USA Today is well, THE leading computer-generated DAILY RAG, this particular Ed/Op by USA TODAY Founder Al Neuharth says one of the most important things I have seen a professional journalist or amateur BLOGGER state in many years.

    In the spirit of HORACE GREELEY, I have highlighted it in the editor's BLUE INK for you.

    Source JUMP URL: http://www.usatoday.com/news/opinion...neuharth_x.htm

    Posted 10/20/2005 8:26 PM

    With these 'friends,' Bush needs 'enemies'

    President Bush has come full circle. Some of his key conservative "friends" have turned on him. Now he needs the support of a few liberal "enemies." All because he nominated Harriet Miers as a Supreme Court justice.
    The circus by some politicians began right after his announcement on Oct. 3, and the clowns will keep performing until after her Senate confirmation hearings in November. Many media commentators who drape themselves with right-wing or left-wing banners also are even more muddled than usual with their askew views.

    Because journalists really should be absolutely non-political, I'm neither a Bush friend nor foe. He has been bashed by me for his tragic Iraq blunder, before as well as after his "pre-emptive strike." But his nomination of new Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts and his worthy Social Security reform plan, albeit now defunct, were applauded here.

    From that politically independent perspective, some reasons Miers seems a good candidate:

    She has an outstanding record in private law practice, representing individuals and corporations.

    Her lack of "bench experience" is a bonus because it brings a needed non-judicial perspective.

    Her law degree from Southern Methodist University is a plus, because too many justices have come from the artificial and snobbish Ivy League environment.

    She has been a trailblazer for equality as the first female president of the Dallas Bar Association and first woman to head the Texas Bar Association.

    Nobody knows how she would vote on abortion or any other specific issue. Nor should we. All that Bush's friends or enemies should need is assurance that she will be guided by the spirit and letter of the Constitution on every case she considers.

    Copyright 2005 USA TODAY, a division of Gannett Co. Inc.

    SCAM Politics Forum Citation Copyright 2005 GONZOPOLIS PRESS, a division of Delta T Creations, S.P. - Thomas J. Wasserberg, Founder/CEO/CIO/COO

    REM: Public Enema#1, tommywho70x thinks that the Honorable(?) President United States of America, Mr. George Walker Bush might also benefit from a few enemas but is concerned that it may be difficult to determine which orifice the hose should be inserted into. :p :D :eek:
    Last edited by tommywho70x; 10-21-2005 at 07:26 PM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2005

    Re: We Love Miers and So Should You

    Look at the expression on her face... LOL She ABSOLUTELY ADORES this man!!

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