Monday, October 17, 2005

Marketing Miers

Once again the White House has failed to do anything to make the Miers nomination palateable. First, there was the "trust me" routine. Then came the "evangelical" sales pitch that countered every argument the White House's supporters had used to decry left-wing targeting of Roberts and Pryor for their Catholicism. Now comes the limp appeal to Texas jurists.

The jurists are all former Texas Supreme Court Chief Justices, a curious trio considering that she is not and never has been an appellate stalwart. Former CJ Joe Greenhill presided over the anti-business Texas Supreme Court in the mid-70s until the early 1980s. He's an old bugger -- around 90. Former CJ John Hill, Jr., is a partner at Locke Liddell & Sapp, which is the firm Miers headed before she went to Washington (he was the "Hill" in one of LLS' predecessors, Liddell Sapp Zivley Hill & LaBoon). Hill made his reputation and his fortune as a plaintiff's lawyer; he also served with Miers on the Texas Lottery Commission. Former CJ Thomas Phillips is one of the more renowned Texas chief justices for his role in strengthening the reputation of the Court, his integrity and his pro-business bent.

NONE of the three are themselves conservatives. Phillips' court was conservative because its strongest legal minds during his tenure were Nathan Hecht, Priscilla Owen (Fifth Circuit), Greg Abbott (Texas AG), John Cornyn (Texas AG then Senator) and Raul Gonzalez (retired, no relation to current US AG Alberto [and they spell their surnames differently]). In other words, these gentlemen are just more members of the Texas legal network that are vouching for a friend.

No comments: