Saturday, October 08, 2005

Does Miers's Experience as White House Counsel Qualify Her for the Supreme Court?


I have serious doubts that White House Counsel is suitable experience for the Supreme Court. The role of White House Counsel is to be the President's lawyer not the government's lawyer. It therefore fails to put one in the position of having to contemplate the societal implications of her representation.

Regardless, the argument is a ruse in this case. Miers has been in that job for less than a year. Prior to that she was White House Secretary -- responsible for the paper flow from the Oval Office and ensuring that everything with that paper was in order.

All the examples to which people point as important issues that have been addressed by the White House Counsel arose while when Al Gonzales was White House Counsel. This includes the discussions of detention policies for enemy combatants as well as controversial federal appeallate court nominations. (Even the ones just confirmed this year were originally cleared with Gonzales as White House Counsel, not Miers.)

If Harriet Miers as the White House Secretary was the President's prime advisor on judicial nominations and detainee policy (as is now claimed), then he was passing up his own White House Counsel and the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel to obtain legal advice from someone not serving in a lawyer's capacity in the administration. That is an amazing admission of dysfunctional operations if true.


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