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October 17, 2005

More on Miers from her Texas Bar days

As noted in this post, the new White House strategy for pitching Miers is to focus on her qualifications.  Thanks to a helpful reader, I see that the State Bar of Texas aids this cause by making available, at this website, materials from Miers' tenure as President of that Bar.  The materials now available there include a Q&A with Miers from the June 1992 Texas Bar Journal, and on this page the "President's Opinions" that Miers wrote for the Texas Bar Journal during her 1992-1993 term as president.

A very quick scan of these 11 brief "Opinions" do not greatly enhance what we already know about Harriet Miers, nor do they provide many clues as to how she might reach and write other opinions in the future.  Most of these columns discuss the importance of lawyers acting ethically and committing time to pro bono work, although the themes of ensuring legal representation for the poor and diversifying the legal profession come through in many of these TBJ columns.

Especially given all the talk about where Miers went to law school and the intensity of the blogosphere buzz about her nomination, I found Miers' March 1993 TBJ column the most interesting of the bunch.  This column starts by commenting upon an article discussing a controversy then raging at Harvard Law School, which Miers calls "shocking ... for two principal reasons:"

It describes some of the best and brightest among our nation's people as deeply divided along political and philosophical lines with an inability to engage in civil dialogue.  Secondly, the story depicts the conduct of some of these best and brightest in our legal community as suggestive of a disturbing lack of respect for anyone with a different view.  The article particularly spotlights divisions based on race and gender issues.

Later in the column, Miers has this to say about the role and responsibilities of lawyers:

Lawyers are about seeking the truth, preserving a system to achieve fairness and justice, and protecting the freedom of individuals against the tyranny of the majority view.  Lawyers have superior education, training, and communication skills.  We should be role models for our nation and its people and we should be leaders.  If lawyers fail to achieve respect for one another and cultivate civility among members of the profession, then it is predictable that society as a whole will fail.

October 17, 2005 at 11:24 AM | Permalink


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