Alexander Hamilton wrote in The Federalist Papers that the reason for requiring the advice and consent of the Senate would be to keep the nominees to the Supreme Court from being so pliant as “to render them the obsequious instruments of the President’s pleasure.”

Hamilton thought a president would be “both ashamed and afraid” to bring to the Senate nominees with only personal alliances as credentials.

How then, Ms. Harriet Miers? Her nomination has sparked a rebellion among Bush’s base, with her lack of judicial experience and her lack of solid conservative credentials.

Who is Harriet Miers? At her large Dallas law firm, her clients included Microsoft, Ford, Citibank and Walt Disney Co. She is an evangelical Christian who never married and socializes with Ann Veneman and Condi Rice. Although she was the first woman president of the State Bar of Texas, she is a product of segregated schools and left the Dallas city council after her side lost a fight to amplify minority voting power.

She has never served as a judge but became staff secretary to President Bush in 2001 and White House Counsel in 2004. She introduced Alberto Gonzales to Bush in 1992 and replaced him as Counsel when Gonzales became Attorney General. She served as Bush’s personal attorney in a land dispute and gave $20,000 to his race for re-election as Governor and later $5,000 to the Bush-Cheney Recount Fund.

Moreover, Ms. Miers was paid $19,000 in 1999 to help then Governor Bush to anticipate hard questions, such as whether he received help getting out of the draft and into the National Guard.

She defended the Bush-Cheney ticket in a Florida lawsuit that nearly disqualified them for violating the 12th Amendment, which prohibits two residents of the same state (Texas) from forming a presidential-vice presidential team.

After Miers’ 1995 appointment as chair of the Texas Lottery Commission, it was revealed that former Lt. Governor Ben Barnes who lobbied for the creation of the state lottery, gave himself a four percent kickback. In response, she hired a new executive director, Lawrence Littwin, to clean house.

Littwin says he was fired after just four months on the job because he started looking into Barnes and illegal campaign contributions. Littwin sued GTech, Barnes’ company, for wrongful interference and was awarded $300,000. He attempted to subpoena Miers, but she fought it and won in federal court.

Littwin was more successful in questioning Barnes about his role in approaching a National Guard commander on behalf of the Bush family. Barnes has said he regrets helping Bush avoid military service, but he will no longer talk to the press. The settlement prohibits Littwin from speaking about the case, but said he would testify before Miers’ Senate confirmation hearings if asked. The Judiciary Committee should be sure to invite him.

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