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Miers as "pro-business" pick

Matt Bodie of Prawfsblawg (via Blawg Review #29):

I think it's important to separate out expertise from ideology here. ...Moreover, beyond a few basics, it's hard to say what a "pro-business" legal ideology would be. Sure, it might be easier to ascertain what a Chamber of Commerce nominee would support, but the Chamber of Commerce does not equal "business." Of the seven cases that Harriet Miers argued on appeal, three involved a business against another business (e.g., Disney v. Esprit Finance). In these cases, which outcome was "pro-business"?

To me, Harriet Miers doesn't look like a pro-business nominee; she looks like a big-law-firm nominee. There's a difference. Big law firms are likely to cater to big, institutional clients on a variety of matters. To generalize a bit, they bill by the hour, spend a lot of time and attention on matters, and prize their client relationships. They are influential in local and state bar associations. They may like business, but they like the practice of law as well. So in the areas that a wide range of businesses might most be looking for help -- tort reform, damage caps, harsher pleading requirements -- a big-firm nominee (with ABA leadership experience) might feel a twinge in restricting or limiting the role of lawyers in the process.

More: Legal Times has substantial reporting on her career as a business lawyer.



Rafael Mangual
Project Manager,
Legal Policy

Manhattan Institute


Published by the Manhattan Institute

The Manhattan Insitute's Center for Legal Policy.