Sunday, October 09, 2005


October 9, 2005

President Bush has often said that he would appoint a Supreme Court Justice like Antonin Scalia or Clarence Thomas. Well, no one is like Antonin Scalia. But Mr. Bush has found a nominee, Harriet Miers, whose career can easily be compared to that of Justice Thomas. Neither comes close to supporting the Presidential claims of nominating the "best qualified lawyer in the country" Let's look.

Clarence Thomas did rise above a childhood of poverty and destitution, at times helped by affirmative action principles that he now opposes. He attended Holy Cross, graduating 9th in his class, and proceeded to Yale Law School. After 2 years of law practice, Mr. Thomas became a legislative assistant, served in the Department of Education, and then served as Chairman of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission for 8 years. Immediately prior to his appointment, he had been a judge on the U.S.
Court of Appeals, Washington, D.C, for one year.

While Ms. Miers'career does not include a judgeship for one year, her record of accomplishment easily eclipses that of Justice Thomas. After graduating from SMU and then SMU Law School, she served as law clerk for a U.S. District Court judge for 2 years before joining a prestigious Dallas law firm. She had a distinguished legal career, at times named as among the top 100 of the most powerful attorneys in the country. Along the way she became President of the law firm of 400 lawyers, President of the Dallas Bar Association, and President of the Texas State Bar Association. Ms Miers gained political experience through 2 years on the Dallas City Council and 5 years as Chairwoman of the Texas Lottery Commision. Of course, over the last decade she has served as counsel and advisor to the Governor of Texas and President of the United States.

We may not know her philosophy and views on current issues of great import, but neither did we know them for Mr. Thomas, nor, indeed, those of Chief Justice Roberts.
Let's at least hope that, contrary to Mr. Bush's assurances, they will be subject to some change in 20 years.

And, so far, there has been no hint of sexual harassment by Harriet Miers