Sunday, Jan. 18, 2009

Harriet Miers

Miers' Oct. 3, 2005 nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court seat vacated by Justice Sandra Day O'Connor helped fuel the argument that Bush rewarded cronyism over competence. It's not that Miers wasn't competent — the Texas-born attorney excelled as a litigator and became the first woman to assume the presidency of the state's bar association. But she lacked the proper pedigree for a vaunted spot on the Court, whose members must plumb the deepest and most complex nuances of the U.S constitution. She had never served as a judge, or even as a law professor. Her main qualification, detractors commented, was that Miers had served Bush as White House counsel, where she cultivated the president's trust and earned a reputation for fierce loyalty. When the President tapped her for the High Court, he was assailed by both sides of the political spectrum for her lack of credentials and scant record. To quell the growing storm over her selection, Miers resigned.