Article III Groupie has already admitted that she is underinformed about Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers, so this is just a very preliminary take on Miers's nomination. The opinions expressed herein are subject to revision, once A3G familiarizes herself more with Miers and gets good gossip from her readers. (A3G will probably be revising and updating this post throughout the day.)
Upon learning of Miers's selection as President Bush's SCOTUS nominee, A3G's initial reaction was one of disappointment. In terms of credentials, Harriet Miers appears to be what might be called "hyper-competent," but not brilliant.
Now, don't get A3G wrong -- Harriet Miers's record is nothing to scoff at. Miers is a female lawyer who has risen to impressive positions of leadership within her former firm, Locke Liddell & Sapp, and within legal professional organizations, including the Dallas Bar Association, the Texas State Bar, and the American Bar Association. She is trusted greatly by President Bush, who famously described her as "a pit bull in size 6 shoes."
As that description suggests, and as those who have worked under her in the White House Counsel's Office can attest, Harriet Miers is one tough cookie. One doesn't reach the leadership positions that she has occupied by being a shrinking violet. But does Harriet Miers possess the sheer intellectual firepower of a Samuel Alito, J. Michael Luttig, or Michael McConnell? Perhaps not.
From the perspective of style, A3G is even more distraught. Although White House Counsel Miers was looking sharp at this morning's Oval Office announcement, in a navy suit and nicely contrasting electric blue blouse, photographs of her on the internet reveal that she has had a succession of truly awful hairstyles over the years. Let's just say that Harriet Miers is not nearly as stylish as her fellow female short-listers -- such as Consuelo Callahan, Karen Williams, or Edith Brown Clement -- and leave it at that.
On an ideological level, A3G shares some of the concerns about Miers's conservativism that have been voiced by the folks over at Confirm Them. While Miers may turn out to be very conservative -- and the White House obviously has an informational advantage over the Senate in terms of assessing her views -- her record does not clearly reflect a longstanding commitment to conservative principles, in the way of an Edith Jones, Emilio Garza, Mike Luttig, or Sam Alito. (Granted, since Harriet Miers has never served as a judge and developed a judicial track record, she can't be held to the same standard; but A3G did raise an eyebrow at Miers's campaign contributions to Democrats.)
But as A3G said, she needs to learn much more about Miers in order to opine knowledgeably. Check back soon for more...