Harriet E. Miers Profile

Thursday, October 27, 2005; 9:03 AM

On Oct. 27, 2005, White House counsel Harriet Ellan Miers asked President Bush to withdraw her nomination for the Supreme Court vacancy created by the retirement of Justice Sandra Day O'Connor.

Read Miers's resignation letter and President Bush's statement on her withdrawal request. 


Harriet Ellan Miers was born in Dallas on Aug. 10, 1945.

Miers received her bachelor's degree in mathematics in 1967 and JD in 1970 from Southern Methodist University. Upon graduation, she clerked for U.S. District Judge Joe E. Estes from 1970 to 1972. In 1972, Miers became the first woman hired at Dallas's Locke Purnell Boren Laney & Neely.

In March 1996, her colleagues elected her the first woman president of Locke, Purnell, Rain & Harrell, at that time a firm of about 200 lawyers. She became the first woman to lead a Texas firm of that size.

Locke, Purnell eventually merged with a Houston firm and became Locke Liddell & Sapp, LLP, where Miers became co-managing partner of a firm with more than 400 lawyers.

Miers had a very distinguished career as a trial litigator, representing such clients as Microsoft, Walt Disney Co. and SunGard Data Systems Inc.

Throughout her career, she has been very active in the legal community and has blazed a trail for other women to follow.

* In 1985, Miers was selected as the first woman to become president of the Dallas Bar Association.

* In 1992, she became the first woman elected president of the State Bar of Texas. Miers served as the president of the State Bar of Texas from 1992 to 1993.

* She played an active role in the American Bar Association. She was one of two candidates for the number two position at the ABA, chair of the House of Delegates, before withdrawing her candidacy to move to Washington to serve in the White House. Miers also served as the chair of the ABA's Commission on Multijurisdictional Practice.

On numerous occasions, the National Law Journal named her one of the nation's 100 most powerful attorneys and as one of the nation's top 50 women lawyers.

Miers also has been involved in local and statewide politics in Texas.

* In 1989, she was elected to a two-year term as an at-large candidate on the Dallas City Council. She chose not to run for re-election when her term expired.

* Miers also served as general counsel for the transition team of Governor-elect George W. Bush in 1994.

* From 1995 until 2000, Miers served as chairwoman of the Texas Lottery Commission, a voluntary public service position she undertook while maintaining her legal practice and other responsibilities. When then-Governor Bush appointed Miers to a six-year term on the Texas Lottery Commission, it was mired in scandal, and she served as a driving force behind its cleanup.

Miers came to Washington, D.C., in 2001:

* She was appointed assistant to the president and staff secretary on Jan. 20, 2001.

* In 2003, Miers was promoted to assistant to the president and deputy chief of staff.

* Miers has served as counsel to the president since February 2005.

She is not married and does not have children.Two brothers and her mother live in Dallas; a third brother lives in Houston.

(Source: The White House.)

For further reading:

  • "Miers Withdraws Under Mounting Criticism," (AP, October 27, 2005)
  • "In Speeches From 1990s, Clues About Miers Views: Nominee Defended Social Activism," (The Post, October 26, 2005)
  • "Miers Backed Race, Sex Set-Asides: She Made Diversity A Texas Bar Goal," (The Post, October 22, 2005)
  • "Miers Hit on Letters and the Law: Writings Both Personal and Official Have Critics Poking Fun" (The Post, October 15, 2005)
  • "For Miers, Proximity Meant Power: Longtime Bush Confidante Became Gatekeeper of Access to the President" (The Post, October 13, 2005)
  • "Role of Religion Emerges as Issue" (The Post, October 13, 2005)
  • "Papers Offer Peek at Miers's Views" (The Post, October 11, 2005)
  • "Analysis: Bush the Conservative v. Bush the Pragmatist" (The Post October 9, 2005)
  • "Miers to Face Tougher Time Than Roberts in Hearings" (The Post, October 9, 2005)
  • "Analysis: Right Sees Miers as Threat to a Dream" (The Post, October 7, 2005)
  • "The Nominee: A Deep Dedication to the President, and to Her Work" (The Post, Oct. 4, 2005).
  • "Analysis: A Bid for Confirmation, Rather Than Convictions" (The Post, Oct. 4, 2005).
  • "The Choice: Once More, Bush Turns to His Inner Circle" (The Post, Oct. 4, 2005).
  • "Quiet but Ambitious White House Counsel Makes Life of Law" (The Post, June 21, 2005).
  • Documents & Links

    Compiled documents and links on Miers's record, experience and philosophy:

  • Graphic: Career Timeline
  • Miers's Litigation Record (Source: FindLaw)
  • Transcript: President Bush speaks to reporters in the Rose Garden Oct. 4, 2005, about his choice of Miers, other topics. (Courtesy of FDCH/e-Media)
  • Transcript: Harriet Miers hosts "Ask the White House" online discussion, Oct. 29, 2004. (Source: The White House)
  •  Member Directory Listing, Harriet Ellan Miers, State Bar of Texas.
  • Letter from Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) in response to Miers's original questionnaire.

  • Text of Letter From Specter to Miers, October 26, 2005.
  • Miers's response to Senate Judiciary Committee Questions

  • Nominee for the Supreme Court of the Court of the United States - General, Public (October 18, 2005)
  • Financial disclosure reports submitted to the Judiciary Committee (PDFs)

  • Nomination Filing
  • Financial Statement
  • Documents received by the Judiciary Commitee relating to Miers's service on the Dallas City Council (PDFs).

  • Miers's response to a questionnaire from Texans United for Life (April 1989). Miers pledges support for a constitutional amendment banning abortions except when necessary to save the life of the mother.
  • Miers's response to a questionnaire from the Dallas Eagle Forum.
  • Miers's response to a questionnaire from the Lesbian/Gay Political Coalition of Dallas. Miers responded that she supported civil rights for gays and lesbians but did not support the repeal of a law criminalizing consensual, private sexual behavior between gays and lesbians.
  • Documents related to Miers's service as president of the State Bar of Texas (1992-1993).

  • Q & A from the Texas State Bar Journal (PDF). Miers wrote that "our legal community must reflect our population as a whole," and under her leadership the organization embraced racial and gender set-asides and set numerical targets to achieve that goal.
  • "President's Opinion: Legacies of a Lawyer," Texas State Bar Journal, June 1992.
  • Miers's public financial disclosure reports from her tenure in the White House (PDFs)

  • 2004 | 2003 | 2002 | 2001 | 2000
  • Speeches by Miers (PDFs)

  • Speech to the Executive Women of Dallas, Spring 1993
  • "Women and Courage," Summer 1993
  • Articles authored by Miers

  • "Recommended Reading: Issues for the Multijurisdictional Lawyer where pro hac vice Admission Does Not Apply," 2001 Arkansas L. Notes 131 (2001) [PDF; Source: Univ. of Michigan Law Library]
  • "ABA Study of Multistate Practice on Fast Track," 36 Tennessee Bar J. 6 (2000) [PDF; Source: Univ. of Michigan Law Library]
  • "Commission on Multijurisdictional Practice," 11 Professional Lawyer 20 (2000) [PDF; Source: Univ. of Michigan Law Library]
  • "Texas Life Insurance Update," in Conference on Life Insurance Litigation: ALI-ABA Course of Study Materials: May 13-14, 1999. Philadelphia.: American Law Institute-American Bar Association Committee on Continuing Professional Education, 1999. [PDF; Source: Univ. of Michigan Law Library]
  • "President's Opinions" from the Texas Bar Journal, June 1992 to May 1993. During her term as president of the State Bar of Texas, Harriet Miers wrote 11 columns for the organization's monthly publication. (PDFs)

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