A Sampling of the Writings of Harriet Miers

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What kind of Supreme Court justice would Harriet Miers be? For anyone trying to assess her qualifications, analyze her philosophy and predict her behavior, Miers would seem to present a fairly blank slate. She has no judicial resume and hasn't left a long trail of noteworthy memos, briefs, oral argument transcripts or law journal articles.

Gay Rights

An indication of her stance on gay rights comes from this questionaire from the Lesbian/Gay Political Coalition of Dallas Miers filled out while running for the Dallas City Council in 1989. In it, she supported full civil rights for gays and lesbians and backed AIDS education programs for the city of Dallas. (Source: Quorumreport.com)

Views on the Law

Elsewhere, a search for indications of her personal views and writing skills turned up two articles penned by Miers for the legal publication Texas Lawyer. They show a concern for the rule of law—and an emphasis on collegiality, compromise and determination:

In 1992, while president of the state bar, Miers wrote in the publication Texas Lawyer about the effect on the criminal justice system of an episode in a Fort Worth courthouse, where in July of that year, a man angry about his divorce went on a shooting spree, killing two lawyers and wounding two judges and a prosecutor before surrendering at a TV station:

  • "The same liberties that ensure a free society make the innocent vulnerable to those who prevent rights and privileges and commit senseless and cruel acts. Those precious liberties include free speech, freedom to assemble, freedom of liberties, access to public places, the right to bear arms and freedom from constant surveillance. We are not willing to sacrifice these rights because of the acts of maniacs."

  • "Punishment of wrongdoers should be swift and sure. Only then can the criminal justice system serve as an effective deterrent. Those who would choose a rule of man rather than the rule of law must not escape fitting penalty. Again, the lack of adequate resources to support an overburdened criminal justice system looms as a reality. Punishment may come swift and sure in the Fort Worth slayings case because of their notoriety. But we cannot forget the other cases crying for justice languishing in courts throughout Texas and the nation."

  • "We all can be active in some way to address the social issues that foster criminal behavior, such as: lack of self-esteem or hope in some segments of our society, poverty, lack of health care (particularly mental health care), lack of education, and family dysfunction."

  • "We lawyers are trained in problem-solving and we have the leadership and other opportunities available to professionals in our society. The two men who died exemplified individuals devoted to their God, their families, their fellow man, their communities and their profession. Speakers in both memorial services, used the very same words: ‘Well done, good and faithful servant.’"

  • "Our sense of helplessness and inability to understand why tragedies like these have to occur should not cause anyone to attempt to explain the Fort Worth shootings as expressions of frustration with judges, lawyers or the justice system. Plain and simple, they are despicable acts—examples of the worst nature of man. The rest of us are challenged even more to demonstrate the best."