As Bush said in his speech, 35 previous Supreme Court Justices had no previous experience on the bench. They only have to be an accomplished person...takao said:well i read that she has absolute no judge expierence.. hows that gonna work ? it's ridiculous
They really don't have to be an accomplished anything, in reality. They only have to be able to get through the confirmation process. Bush has nominated a cypher for political reasons. You can be sure Bush knows her views on the big legal issues of the day, but that even after the hearings are all said and done, that few Americans will.broken_keyboard said:As Bush said in his speech, 35 previous Supreme Court Justices had no previous experience on the bench. They only have to be an accomplished person...
well then the US _supreme_ court is not more than a joke or a political instrument .. over here the supreme court it's mostly made up of the most experienced judgesbroken_keyboard said:As Bush said in his speech, 35 previous Supreme Court Justices had no previous experience on the bench. They only have to be an accomplished person...
(emphasis theirs)New Supreme Court nominee's ties to Bush's National Guard scandal
White House counsel Harriet Miers has never served as a judge before, and while this career "hard-nosed lawyer" (as she is invariably described) from Texas certainly deserves some kudos for a trailblazing career as a female lawyer, she's not a legal scholar, either.
But she does know better than just about anyone else where the bodies are buried (relax, it's a just a metaphor...we hope) in President Bush's National Guard scandal. In fact, Bush's Texas gubenatorial campaign in 1998 (when he was starting to eye the White House) actually paid Miers $19,000 to run an internal pre-emptive probe of the potential scandal. Not long after, a since-settled lawsuit alleged that the Texas Lottery Commission -- while chaired by Bush appointee Miers -- played a role in a multi-million dollar cover-up of the scandal.
Whatever Miers knows about the president's troubled past, she may soon be keeping that information underneath the black robe of an Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. Miers, who not long ago succeeded Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez as White House counsel, is now Bush's pick to replace retiring Justice Sandra Day O'Connor:
Miers is a skilled lawyer -- mainly on behalf of big business, including Microsoft and Disney -- and the first woman elected Texas State Bar President. But her main qualifications for the highest court in the land appear to be the same as most of Bush's recent appointments: She is unfailingly loyal to George W. Bush.
Here's how Newsweek's Michael Isikoff, on July 17, 2000, described her initial foray in the morass of Bush's Guard service:
The Bushies' concern began while he was running for a second term as governor. A hard-nosed Dallas lawyer named Harriet Miers was retained to investigate the issue; state records show Miers was paid $19,000 by the Bush gubernatorial campaign. She and other aides quickly identified a problem--rumors that Bush had help from his father in getting into the National Guard back in 1968. Ben Barnes, a prominent Texas Democrat and a former speaker of the House in the state legislature, told friends he used his influence to get George W a guard slot after receiving a request from Houston oilman Sid Adger. Barnes said Adger told him he was calling on behalf of the elder George Bush, then a Texas congressman. Both Bushes deny seeking any help from Barnes or Adger, who has since passed away. Concerned that Barnes might go public with his allegations, the Bush campaign sent Don Evans, a friend of W's, to hear Barnes's story. Barnes acknowledged that he hadn't actually spoken directly to Bush Sr. and had no documents to back up his story. As the Bush campaign saw it, that let both Bushes off the hook. And the National Guard question seemed under control.
So far, intriguing...but it gets better, and more complicated. At roughly the same time all of this was happening, Miers was also the Bush-named chair of the scandal-plagued Texas Lottery Commission. The biggest issue before Miers and the commission was whether to retain lottery operator Gtech, which had been implicated in a bribery scandal. Gtech's main lobbyist in Texas in the mid-1990s? None other than that same Ben Barnes who had the goods on how Bush got into the Guard and avoided Vietnam.
In 1997, Barnes was abruptly fired by Gtech. That's a bad thing, right? Well, on the other hand, they also gave him a $23 million severance payment. A short time later, Gtech -- despite the ongoing scandals -- got its contract renewed over two lower bidders. A former executive director thought the whole thing stunk:
The suit involving Barnes was brought by former Texas lottery director Lawrence Littwin, who was fired by the state lottery commission, headed by Bush appointee Harriet Miers, in October 1997 after five months on the job. It contends that Gtech Corp., which runs the state lottery and until February 1997 employed Barnes as a lobbyist for more than $3 million a year, was responsible for Littwin's dismissal.
Littwin's lawyers have suggested in court filings that Gtech was allowed to keep the lottery contract, which Littwin wanted to open up to competitive bidding, in return for Barnes's silence about Bush's entry into the Guard.
Barnes and his lawyers have denounced this "favor-repaid" theory in court pleadings as "preposterous . . . fantastic [and] fanciful." Littwin was fired after ordering a review of the campaign finance reports of various Texas politicians for any links to Gtech or other lottery contractors. But Littwin wasn't hired, or fired, until months after Barnes had severed his relationship with Gtech.
Littwin reportedly settled with Gtech for $300,000. This all could be interesting fodder for a Miers confirmation hearing this fall. But Bush apparently went for Miers' top two credentials:
Loyalty...and a little inside information.
It's basically the same reaction when I look at his face. For some reason when I glance at Harriet Miers I have a better idea as to what Norman Bates' mom may have looked like before she was moved to the fruit cellar.broken_keyboard said:There is something about her face that makes me have no confidence in her. Does anyone else get the same feeling? I have been
It is interesting to me that when Bush 41 was running, she was donating money to the other side. Of course, she may have been contributing to both political parties during that election (the article doesn't specifically address that question).One thing that is documented is Miers's political contributions. Miers has donated thousands of dollars to Republican candidates during the past 15 years, including to President Bush's campaigns. But in 1988, Miers contributed $1,000 to Al Gore's campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination.
She also donated to the Democratic National Committee in 1988 and to Sen. Lloyd Bentsen, a Texas Democrat, in 1987, according to the Federal Election Commission and the Center for Responsive Politics.
following up, from today's WH press briefing (i'm guessing this is ABC's terry moran):zimv20 said:
"cronyism" was mentioned several times in the briefing.MR. McCLELLAN (ed. - this is obviously a reporter question): Scott, you mentioned her legal experience. Part of that experience is that she was the President's personal lawyer. Can you tell us some of the matters that she would have represented the President in? I understand there was a real estate matter. Did she get involved in the National Guard stuff, the jury duty -- can you tell us --
MR. McCLELLAN: There will be a confirmation process. No, I don't have specifics on that in front of me. She did, originally, I think, serve as counsel to the President's gubernatorial committee that was set up when he was first running for governor, back in '93, and I think it was some time after that she did represent him in some personal matters.
Q And you can get us details on what those matters were?
MR. McCLELLAN: I'll work on getting you more information. Obviously, that will be something that, I'm sure, will come up during the confirmation process.
Q And something else will come up, and I just want to let you have the opportunity to answer directly, and Kelly was getting at. What do you say when people will say he put his own lawyer on the Supreme Court? That's definitional, cronyism.
well Bush has made it clear that he wants those who work under him to be his yes man, so it makes sense in a way.Sayhey said:With the Roberts nomination and now this, I'm beginning to think the criteria for selection isn't ideological purity, but rather blind loyalty to Bush so he can count on them to keep him out of jail as his crimes come to light.
Like an exoneration?mactastic said:Hey, it's always a good idea to install people close to you on the SCOTUS. You never know when you'll need a favor from the court...
Yeah. We get one guy promoted to chief justice before he's worked a day on the Supreme Court, and another one with no judicial experience.takao said:well i read that she has absolute no judge expierence.. hows that gonna work ? it's ridiculous
Hmm...for a press secretary detailing such an important event, McClellan has suddently become Mr. Obtuse. Strange....zimv20 said:
Well that's what he (Bush) has been saying all along...Sayhey said:I'm beginning to think the criteria for selection isn't ideological purity