What Does It Take to Get a SCOTUS Nomination?

In light of the Miers nomination, many conservatives have been wondering what it takes to get a Supreme Court nod from President Bush.

In the spirit of reporting on Bush-cronyism, today’s New York Times reveals that apparently one of Miss Miers’ best qualifications is sucking-up:

"You are the best governor ever – deserving of great respect," Harriet E. Miers wrote to George W. Bush days after his 51st birthday in July 1997. She also found him "cool," said he and his wife, Laura, were "the greatest!" and told him: "Keep up the great work. Texas is blessed."

Ms. Miers, President Bush’s personal lawyer and his selection for a Supreme Court seat, emerges as an unabashed fan in more than 2,000 pages of official correspondence and personal notes made public on Monday by the Texas State Library and Archives Commission in response to open-records requests.

Now, there’s no evidence presented in the Times article showing any recent flattery that might have earned her the nomination, but we are shown a pattern of behavior:

More than a year into Mr. Bush’s first term as governor, Ms. Miers drew on their friendship by asking the Bushes to serve as "honorary chairs" at an Anti-Defamation League dinner in 1996 honoring Ms. Miers with the Jurisprudence Award for devotion to constitutional principles and democratic values.

[. . .]

A few days later, Ms. Miers wrote to thank the Bushes, saying, "Texas has a very popular governor and first lady!" She recalled a little girl who collected Mr. Bush’s autograph and said, "I was struck by the tremendous impact you have on the children whose lives you touch."

The notes to Mr. Bush date from at least March 1995, around the time he named her to the lottery commission, the files show. On March 25, on the letterhead of her Dallas law firm, Locke Purnell Rain Harrell, Ms. Miers wrote to thank him "for taking the time to visit in the office and on the plane back – cool!"

"Keep up all the great work," she wrote. "The state is in great hands. Thanks also for yours and your family’s personal sacrifice."


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