If you haven't done so already, you simply must read this fantastic, super-gossipy Los Angeles Times article, by Scott Gold and Richard A. Serrano. It's provocatively entitled: "A Love That Was Benched by Their Careers: The long-standing relationship between high court nominee Harriet Miers and Texas jurist Nathan Hecht entrances and puzzles their friends." (Gavel bang: How Appealing, and an email from a helpful reader.)
The whole piece is exceedingly juicy, and you should read every scrumptious word. Here are just a few choice excerpts:
[F]or 30 years, Hecht and Miers — President Bush's Supreme Court nominee — have nurtured a kinship that has entranced and confounded their closest friends. They are traditional conservatives content in a modern, nontraditional relationship, one that leaves plenty of time for their true love, their work, to take center stage....
"I think they thought seriously about getting married," said Dallas commercial litigation attorney Brady Sparks, who lived across the hall from Hecht in law school and has been friends with Hecht and Miers ever since.
Very interesting! It seems like this rather conservative lawyer is part of a decidedly non-conservative relationship. Consider this comment from a friend of Harriet Miers:
Sharon Baird, a friend of Miers since they both played on the tennis team at Hillcrest High in Dallas, called Miers' life decisions "very European." Europeans "put a lot of emphasis on love and not so much on marriage," she said. "It's a New Age thing. Much like Oprah. She never married either."
Uh-oh... Harriet Miers is already no favorite of social conservatives. The news that she takes a "European" and "New Age"-ish approach to her love life, belonging to what President Clinton might have called a "non-traditional family," just can't be helpful.
In terms of the genesis of that relationship, it sounds like Harriet Miers may have been the aggressor:
Miers and Hecht became friends in 1975 after she took him out to dinner while he was interviewing for a job with Locke, Purnell, Boren, Laney & Neely, the Dallas firm that, after changes in management and a 1999 merger, became Locke Liddell & Sapp.
Hmm... Was this an official recruiting dinner? The above description is spare on the details. Where did they dine? Was anyone else present? This account seems to imply that Harriet Miers stalked her prey will he was in the process of applying for a job with her firm -- a big recruiting "no-no" today.
At the current time, the Harriet Miers-Nathan Hecht relationship is non-romantic, although Justice Hecht makes clear that it once was more than mere friendship (emphasis added):
"We are good, close friends," [Justice Hecht] said Friday. "And we have been for all these years. We go to dinner. We go to the movies two or three times a year. We talk. And that's the best way to describe it. We are not dating. We are not seeing each other romantically. Not currently."
And what is the exact nature of that platonic relationship? Well, this news may provide even more support for the position that Harriet Miers does not belong on the Supreme Court:
Hecht declined to discuss their relationship in much detail, though he said that the public should not conclude, based on their lofty positions, that they stay up all night debating heady legal issues.
"We don't dwell much on the reverse Commerce Clause," Hecht said with a laugh, referring to an arcane debate among some lawyers over the right of Congress to regulate interstate commerce and other activity. "Maybe that says something about our shallowness."
A3G, of course, would be the last person to say that lawyers should talk about nothing other than substantive legal issues. She sure doesn't discuss such issues in her blog! But then again, A3G is not up for a berth at One First Street. And she feels that kind of people who are under SCOTUS consideration probably should be law dorks who enjoy talking about the Commerce Clause in their spare time (e.g., the ambiguously straight Chief Justice John G. Roberts).
Later on in the article, Gold and Serrano recite the prior romantic entanglements of Harriet Miers and Nathan Hecht, with a gusto and an air of mystery that would be more fit for Us Weekly chronicling the past loves of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie (emphases added):
Hecht has been linked to Priscilla R. Owen, the controversial federal appellate judge who is his protege and close friend and recently served on the Texas Supreme Court with him.
Now, there's no need to start shedding tears for Harriet Miers, thinking that she lost her one true love to that not-so-saucy judicial wench, Priscilla Owen. You should know that Harriet Miers has had other relationships as well:
Miers was engaged briefly in the 1970s to Jim Martin, a law school classmate and, today, a Dallas attorney. They dated for two years, taking a road trip to Big Bend National Park in West Texas and to Los Angeles.
Now how about that? A3G did not know that Harriet Miers had been engaged at one point in time! Fascinating!
And what does Harriet Miers's former fiancee, Jim Martin, have to say about her today? He describes her as "cute," "a lot of fun," and, um, "athletic." He says that they, er, "played a lot of tennis."
Finally, listen to how Harriet Miers's relationship with Jim Martin came to a depressing end, in an especially depressing venue:
One night, after another grueling workday, they met for a late meal at a Denny's restaurant. Over a plate of eggs over easy and ham, they broke it off.
"Our time wasn't our own," he said. "She's a very warm and caring person and would make someone a wonderful wife. It's just that she's extremely focused on her career. In that context, she has never had enough time to carve out a significant relationship that would take a great deal of time."
Okay, that does it; that's the straw that broke the proverbial camel's toe. No more pussyfooting around. The members of the Senate Judiciary Committee can stop holding their breath, because La Groupie has an announcement to make:
A3G officially opposes the nomination of Harriet Miers to be an Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court!!!
* A judicial ethics bonus question: If confirmed, should Justice Harriet Miers recuse herself from any SCOTUS case in which Judge Owen was on the Fifth Circuit panel below?
A3G's answer: YES. If you have pulled violently on another woman's hair while screaming, "Stay the hell away from my man, bitch!", your impartiality in reviewing judicial rulings made by that woman could reasonably be questioned.
(Of course, Justice Harriet Miers might also have to recuse herself from any case involving an appeal from the Supreme Court of Texas, on which Justice Hecht sits.)