Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Let's Get Something Straight

This morning the NYT is floating the preposterous idea (“Miers Known as a Hard-Working Advocate for the President”) that Harriet Ellan Miers and Sandra Day O'Connor are equals. “Last May,” the article says, “the Texas Center for Legal Ethics and Professionalism gave Harriet E. Miers its second annual Sandra Day O'Connor Award. On Monday, President Bush proposed Ms. Miers for something a little bit bigger: Sandra Day O'Connor's seat on the Supreme Court. The parallels to the woman she would replace are apparent.” They aren't apparent to me. Mainly because the idea is a crock. Both women were born in Texas. Both women are Republicans. And there ends the similarity. Miers is 60 years old. She has distinguished herself by being a blatant suck-up to President George W. Bush. She even said he was the most brilliant man she'd ever met. That alone should disqualify her from SCOTUS for being insane or a shameless lying sycophant. She has worked in a third-rate law firm, been head of the Texas Lottery and served as a Member-At-Large on the Dallas City Council. She is unmarried and has no children. Miers got her law degree at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas. SMU does not have ranking as even a second-tier law school. And Miers did not make Law Review at SMU. Contrast that with Sandra Day O'Connor's accomplishments. She became a Supreme when she was 51. O'Connor got her law degree in California at Stanford University. Stanford's Law School is ranked third in US law schools (Yale is first, Harvard second) in the first-tier group. O'Connor earned her LLB in two years. She was editor of the Stanford Law Review. She married John O'Connor when she graduated from law school. They had three sons, all born between 1957 and 1963. When the O'Connors returned from Germany where John O'Connor had served in the Judge Advocate General's Corps in the US Army, Sandra resumed her career full-time. The O'Connors settled in the Maricopa/Phoenix area in Arizona. Governor Jack Williams appointed Sandra Day O'Connor to a vacant seat in the Arizona Senate in 1969. O'Connor won re-election in 1970 and 1972. In 1974, she successfully ran for judge on the Maricopa County Superior Court. In 1979 she won an appointment to Arizona's Court of Appeals. When Justice Stewart Potter resigned from the Supreme Court in 1981, President Reagan chose O'Connor as Potter's replacement. The biggest problem with Harriet Miers having no obvious qualifications for being a Supreme is that she has left no paper trail. We don't know where she stands on important issues. By all accounts she is a nice person and she works hard. But what does she stand for? She's obviously willing to say anything and do anything to sit at the feet of a fool, George W. Bush. But how would she vote as a Justice on the Supreme Court? We have no way of knowing.


Anonymous said...

Touche, Joy!

Barry Schwartz said...

Yes, good contrast.