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Eight or nine things we know about her

She's made some choice enemies among high-powered Texas plaintiff's lawyers; among those happy to snipe at her in the press are legal ethics poster boy Fred Baron and Democratic Party chairman Charles Soechting of John O'Quinn's firm. While on the Dallas city council, she said "she 'wouldn't belong to the Federalist Society' or other 'politically charged' groups because they 'seem to color your view one way or another'"; when she got to the Oval Office, according to an ex-lawyer there who spoke to columnist Jim Pinkerton, she "was shocked to discover the lawyers in the White House counsel's office were Federalist Society types, all of them scornful of the ABA -- her ABA" (more). Prominent Southern Baptist leader Richard Land, apparently intending the remarks as praise, predicted that she "will 'vote the way he [President Bush] would want her to vote' and that as a Texan she would consider anything else disloyal. 'If someone is disloyal in Texas, they're right down there with child molesters and ax murderers'." While she's acted as attorney of record on behalf of national corporations in various lawsuits, it would be hasty to assume that she was necessarily calling the legal shots in all those cases. Praised by colleagues for her generosity toward church, family and charities, she has accumulated far less wealth over her career than would be expected of a partner at a big law firm. Longtime friend Rena Pederson, retired editorial page editor of the Dallas Morning News, describes her as "not an ideologue" and predicts a record "in the mold of Sandra Day O'Connor." While in law school she interned with famed San Francisco gunslinger Melvin Belli, where her supervisor was Robert Lieff of later Lieff Cabraser class-action fame, but she turned down a job offer there and returned to Dallas; these days, friends consider her a likely backer of tort reform in some version. Like John Roberts she has been called client-oriented and a "lawyer's lawyer", a phrase not everyone however regards as complimentary. The Boston Globe reports that she may represent "something new in the contentious world of judicial nominations: a nominee who ...who may not hold strong views on controversial issues": "friends and colleagues suggest that Miers so embodies the ideal of lawyerly rectitude that her own views on constitutional issues may either have been repressed or never existed in the first place."



Rafael Mangual
Project Manager,
Legal Policy

Manhattan Institute


Published by the Manhattan Institute

The Manhattan Insitute's Center for Legal Policy.