Miers Hearts Legislating from the Bench

From Holden:

Harriet Miers does indeed have a paper trail and it’s catching up with her.

President Bush praises Harriet Miers as an opponent of legislating from the judicial bench, but as a corporate lawyer she lobbied then-Gov. Bush to let the Texas high court rather than the Legislature decide if attorney fees should be limited.

In the process, Miers unleashed a verbal assault on trial lawyers who typically file lawsuits and whose cases sometimes land in the U.S. Supreme Court, where Bush now has nominated her to serve. She suggested they were ”greedy” and had ”brought shame” on Texas.

As a corporate attorney in 1995, Miers stepped into a battle between trial lawyers and proponents of limiting lawsuits. She pressed the future president to veto legislation that would have blocked the Texas Supreme Court from limiting attorney fees.

Reminding Bush that Republicans had just gained a majority on the state’s high court, Miers called the legislation a ”self-protective” special-interest proposal and an assault on the court’s ability to oversee the legal profession, according to a letter obtained by The Associated Press from Bush’s Texas archives.


Though Bush blocked the legislation, the court hasn’t capped attorney fees.

Had the court done so, it would have been ”absolutely legislating from the bench,” said Dallas trial lawyer Fred Baron, who opposed long-running efforts in Texas to cap attorney fees.