Harriet Miers – Supreme Court

Miers’ nomination was withdrawn.

Time: Miers Nomination “Drew Charges Of Cronyism From The Very Beginning.” According to Time, “George W. Bush’s nomination of White House counsel Harriet Miers drew charges of cronyism from the very beginning. Nearly as soon as her name was put forward in 2005, Miers’ lack of judicial experience, not to mention her lack of expressed views on constitutional law, made her a target of fierce criticism. Right-wing activists didn’t feel she was conservative enough, and they let Bush know. Opponents, dismayed that the President had passed over a host of more qualified jurists in favor of his personal lawyer from his days as Texas governor, let the press know. Just 25 days after Miers’ nomination, he withdrew her name. The seat eventually went to the far more experienced and conservative Samuel Alito.” [Time, accessed 5/23/13]

Miers Came Under Fire Because Of Her Friendship With Bush And Her Inexperience. According to USA Today, “President Bush’s nomination of his White House counsel, Harriet Miers, suggests that, in the end, he values her gender and her loyalty. But by choosing a friend, Bush ensures that his nominee will face questions about her credentials and whether she benefited from cronyism. Unlike the nine other Supreme Court nominees since 1975, Miers has never been a judge. The late Chief Justice William Rehnquist was the last non-judge to ascend to the court when he was appointed in 1972, but he was an assistant U.S. attorney general with a conservative track record. Miers’ selection recalled an era in which presidents often turned to personal friends to fill vacancies on the Supreme Court.” [USA Today, 10/3/05]

Conservative Scholar: Miers’ Qualifications “Are All The Fruits Of Her Continuing Relationship With The President.” According to NPR, “Moreover, some critics complained that Miers’ nomination had less to do with her qualifications than with her close relationship with Mr. Bush. ‘If one omits the jobs that were given to her by President Bush … all you have left is a corporate attorney who has shown an ability for administration,’ Ronald J. Pestritto, of the conservative think tank, The Claremont Institute, recently noted in one of a slew of negative web postings on the Miers nomination. ‘The substantial weight of the evidence of her capacity to be a justice — that is, the key government positions she has held — are all the fruits of her continuing relationship with the president. If this doesn’t raise serious questions about cronyism, I’m not sure what does.’” [NPR, 10/27/05]

Both Parties’ Judiciary Committee Leaders Called Miers’ Questionnaire Answers “Insulting” And “Incomplete.” According to NPR, “Meanwhile, Senators Arlen Spector and Patrick Leahy, the Republican and Democratic leaders of the Senate Judiciary Committee, voiced their disappointment in Miers’ 56-page response to questions about her judicial experience and philosophy. Calling her answers ‘incomplete’ and ‘insulting,’ they demanded that she re-do the questionnaire, and also asked for additional documents from her tenure at the White House.” [NPR, 10/27/05]