Wednesday, October 05, 2005

The qualifications of Harriet Miers

I intend to do another long round-up of reaction to the Harriet Miers nomination (which still continues to baffle me) later today or tomorrow, once some of the dust has settled, but for now I wanted to quote a comment that a reader left in reply to my first round-up, published late Monday night:

I just plugged "Harriet Miers" into Westlaw as a search term for all federal decisions. The result: She has been named in exactly six federal decisions. In one of these as Chair of the Texas Lottery Commission, in another as a member of the Dallas City Council, and only in four as a lawyer on the case. (One of these was a discovery motion in bankruptcy court which she lost in its entirety.) This is not even a mediocre track record for a lawyer who is involved in federal litigation. Remember, not every decision that is reported in Westlaw is reported in the federal reporters. None of these were appellate decisions.

By contrast, I plugged in "David Boies." He is named as lead counsel in 185 federal decisions reported in Westlaw.

What does this mean? Well, that Ms. Miers is a rather unimpressive and underqualified nominee for a seat on the highest court in the land -- and perhaps for a seat on any court. Much is made of her legal background, including a managing partnership at a large Dallas law firm, but what exactly are her legal qualifications? Cronyism aside, that's the big question.

Wonkette continues to add to her Miers pages -- see here.

Breaking news: Drudge is reporting that Miers "supported full civil rights for gays and lesbians" and "backed AIDS education programs for [the] city of Dallas". The Time piece to which he links is here. That won't exactly endear her to the anti-gay right (i.e., Bush's base), but here at The Reaction that's one big point in her favour.

I still think she's the wrong choice for the Supreme Court, but at least in this regard she's on the right side.

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