Miers Leaves White House With No Regrets - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

01/30/07 - Washington, D.C.

Miers Leaves White House With No Regrets

Conservatives and liberals alike battered White House counsel Harriet Miers during her 24-day rise and fall as a Supreme Court nominee.

Critics questioned her experience, her judicial beliefs and her grasp of constitutional law.

Now, preparing to leave the White House more than a year after the ordeal, Miers says she doesn't regret the experience. After being nominated, she heard from childhood friends. Strangers came up to her to say they were happy for her.

'Through the course of the nomination there were some ugly _ I thought unjustified _ comments,' Miers said in an interview in her West Wing office. 'There were many, many wonderful aspects of the experience that get lost because people don't focus on that.'

Miers, 61, is being replaced by Fred Fielding, a lawyer in the Nixon White House and President Reagan's chief counsel who is viewed as better versed at handling the legal fights the new Democratic Congress is expected to have with the administration.

The president got high marks for choosing John Roberts as chief justice of the United States, his first high-court nominee. But on Oct. 3, 2005, when he announced he had picked Miers, his loyal legal counsel, to succeed retiring Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, the right wing of their own party skewered both Bush and Miers.

A little more than three weeks later, she withdrew from contention amid the unrelenting backlash, particularly from conservatives, who argued that there were far better candidates.

Miers' resume was filled with firsts: first woman president of the Dallas Bar Association, first woman president of the Texas bar, first woman president of her law firm.

She was Bush's personal lawyer in Texas, took on the thankless job of cleaning up the Texas Lottery when he was governor and followed him to Washington to serve as staff secretary. Bush appointed her White House counsel when Alberto Gonzales became attorney general.

Yet those eager for a nominee with conservative judicial decision-making experience joined other critics who noted that Miers had never been a judge and lacked credentials in constitutional law.

'There's some people who like to look for judicial experience in a nominee to the Supreme Court, but there's nothing that should require that, and historically there have been individuals who have been on the Supreme Court without judicial experience,' she said. 'So I think lawyers who haven't been part of the judiciary are as qualified and will be viewed as qualified in the future.'

Many dismissed Miers as little more than a Bush insider.

'However nice, helpful, prompt and tidy she is, Harriet Miers isn't qualified to play a Supreme Court justice on 'The West Wing' let alone be a real one,' conservative writer Ann Coulter said in one of the more cutting comments.

Miers had vetted prospective candidates for the Supreme Court and the federal bench. 'I had seen what had been done to people whom I had the utmost regard for in terms of their nominations being stalled, or things said about them that I thought were totally unjustified. So I went into the process, certainly, eyes-open, and well-educated about what the process was like.'

Does she think she got a fair shake?

'Someone else is going to have to judge those things,' she said. 'It was my decision to withdraw when I did, and I did so believing that it was in the best interest of the White House.'

At an afternoon send-off at Blair House across the street from the White House, Bush thanked Miers for her service and said she would always have a place in his family. Instead of seeking comfort from the staff after she withdrew her nomination, Miers became 'the comforter,' Bush said, according to a White House staffer who was at the party.

She's not sure what she's going to do now. Her old law firm in Texas has extended a welcome mat. There's been talk that she might run Bush's presidential library. The front-runner for the library is Southern Methodist University in Dallas, her alma mater.

Miers, who is single, said she plans to rest and spend time in Dallas with friends and family, including her 92-year-old mother.

Story courtesy of the Associated Press.

  • NewsMore>>

  • John Tyler receives donation for local lawyer to help upgrade helmets

    John Tyler receives donation for local lawyer to help upgrade helmets

    Friday, August 18 2017 11:14 PM EDT2017-08-19 03:14:50 GMT
    KLTV StaffKLTV Staff
    The John Tyler Lions always seem to look sharp in their uniforms. But thanks to East Texas lawyer Keith Miller, the Lions will look better and play safer. Helmets that advertise lowering the impact of hits, and possibly reduce the amount of concussions, come with a hefty price-tag. Miller's donation of 7,500 dollars, will go to help the lions cover that cost. "Keith Miller's been a big sponsor of John Tyler High School football program for years now.  I know it's...More >>
    The John Tyler Lions always seem to look sharp in their uniforms. But thanks to East Texas lawyer Keith Miller, the Lions will look better and play safer. Helmets that advertise lowering the impact of hits, and possibly reduce the amount of concussions, come with a hefty price-tag. Miller's donation of 7,500 dollars, will go to help the lions cover that cost. "Keith Miller's been a big sponsor of John Tyler High School football program for years now.  I know it's...More >>
  • Red Zone Rundown: Kilgore looks to a pair of Bulldogs speed to up offense

    Red Zone Rundown: Kilgore looks to a pair of Bulldogs speed to up offense

    Friday, August 18 2017 11:08 PM EDT2017-08-19 03:08:11 GMT
    KLTV StaffKLTV Staff
    The last time we talked about the Kilgore Bulldogs, quarterback Buddy Jackson and wide receiver Jonathan Shepherd were apart of the 800-meter relay team that won gold at the 2017 state track meet. But today they are back in the pads, and looking to turn their speed into touchdowns.  Competing in District 9-4A, Kilgore has always had a strong run game that helped them become the 2016 District Champs. However, in order to surpass their opponents this season, including Carthag...More >>
    The last time we talked about the Kilgore Bulldogs, quarterback Buddy Jackson and wide receiver Jonathan Shepherd were apart of the 800-meter relay team that won gold at the 2017 state track meet. But today they are back in the pads, and looking to turn their speed into touchdowns.  Competing in District 9-4A, Kilgore has always had a strong run game that helped them become the 2016 District Champs. However, in order to surpass their opponents this season, including Carthag...More >>
  • Arp ISD takes extra precautions after high levels of asbestos reported in city's water

    Arp ISD takes extra precautions after high levels of asbestos reported in city's water

    Friday, August 18 2017 10:43 PM EDT2017-08-19 02:43:21 GMT
    Sample of water taken from sink inside Arp Junior High School. (Source: KLTV News Staff)Sample of water taken from sink inside Arp Junior High School. (Source: KLTV News Staff)

    Holding up a sample of water collected from a sink at the Arp Junior High school, the district’s superintendent says “it looks like lake water.” 

    More >>

    Holding up a sample of water collected from a sink at the Arp Junior High school, the district’s superintendent says “it looks like lake water.” 

    More >>
Powered by Frankly