Nathan Hecht

harriet miers.jpgThere was much speculation about where former White House counsel Harriet Miers, of the ill-fated Supreme Court nomination, would wind up.
Would Miers oversee the George W. Bush Presidential Library at her alma mater, SMU? Would she be nominated to the Fifth Circuit? Would she launch a new line of high-end eye make-up?
The suspense is now over. From the Dallas Morning News:

Ex-White House counsel and U.S. Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers will rejoin her old law firm, Locke Liddell & Sapp, the firm announced Wednesday.

Ms. Miers had helped run the firm, based in Houston and Dallas, before joining President Bush’s staff in 2001. She will rejoin the firm’s public policy group and litigation group on May 1.

A Locke Liddell official said she will be based in Washington D.C. but also have offices in Dallas and Austin.

Congratulations, Ms. Miers!
(But why is she staying in D.C.? Why not return to her home state of Texas, home to her former lover, Texas Supreme Court Justice Nathan Hecht? As we previously suggested, “If she returns to Texas, she may be able to stir the embers of his passion.”)
Harriet Miers To Rejoin Locke Liddell [Dallas Morning News]

Harriet Miers Harriet E Miers Harriet Ellan Miers Harriet Elan Miers Above the Law.JPGAs previously reported, Harriet Miers — she of the ill-fated Supreme Court nomination* — has submitted her resignation as White House Counsel. It will take effect at the end of this month, on January 31. The search for her replacement has begun.
From White House spokesman Tony Snow:

“Basically, she has been here six years. As somebody said earlier today, ‘She put 12 years of service into six years.’ Harriet is one of the most beloved people here at the White House.”

Indeed, the work ethic of the 61-year-old Miers lies beyond question. At night, her car is typically the last one left in the senior staff parking lot, between the Old Executive Office Building and the West Wing. Her dedication to President Bush is also unimpeachable.
(The New York Times, referring to Miers’s withdrawn SCOTUS nomination, states that “no one doubted her intellect, [but] some doubted her credentials to be a justice.” We disagree with the first proposition. In certain super-snobby quarters of the legal elite, her intellect was definitely questioned — even if few would do so publicly.)
We hear that Miers’s resignation, which she announced at this morning’s White House counsel staff meeting, came as a surprise to much of her staff. There’s also precious little information about her replacement.
* A well-established rule of English usage: With respect to Harriet Miers, the words “Supreme Court nomination” must always be preceded by “ill-fated.”
Additional commentary appears after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Harriet Miers: Farewell My Concubine Counsel”

evan caminker 4 evan h caminker dean caminker.JPGasha rangappa 2 asha rangapa asha ranggappa asha ranggapa.JPG* This week we crowned America’s hottest law school deans: Evan Caminker, of Michigan, and Asha Rangappa, of Yale. When contacted by ATL, both of them issued gracious statements.
* So there’s no contest for you to vote in over the weekend. But please participate in our informal reader poll, seeking to ascertain your Favorite Supreme Court Justice.
* Speaking of the justices, don’t they have more important things to fight over than grammar? And who knew that bright-line Nino could be so nuanced?
* A theme for this past week: Celebrities’ legal woes. E.g., Michael Jackson, Lindsay Lohan, Wesley Snipes, Madonna, and Anna Nicole Smith.
* Another theme: Getting off. E.g., Junior Gotti, Nathan Hecht, and the Duke lacrosse team (but from “innocent sexual activity”).
* Second Circuit Judge John M. Walker hits a New Haven police officer in a traffic accident. The matter is under investigation.
* Global warming practice groups — are they heating up? Or are they the next “Y2K” practice groups?
* Eh, what do you care? You can’t get a Biglaw job anyway — they’re all going to Canadians.
* Team ATL has a new recruit — and he’s proud to be an American. Meet B Clerker.
* If you hate kids, then stop reading here. But if you like ‘em, then click here, scroll down, and read about the amusing antics of attorney spawn.

nathan hecht harriet miers.jpegWhen White House Counsel Harriet Miers was nominated to the United States Supreme Court, her friend and ex-boyfriend, Texas Supreme Court Justice Nathan Hecht, rushed to her side. In numerous interviews with the news media, he praised his former paramour to the heavens.
Justice Hecht’s reward for such loyalty? Being haled before the Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct, which reprimanded him for violating the Texas Code of Judicial Conduct. The Commission concluded that he violated prohibitions on a judge “advanc[ing] the private interests of the judge or others” and “authoriz[ing] the public use of his or her name endorsing another candidate for any public office.”
Thankfully, the reprimand has been dismissed. A special three-judge panel, convened by the Texas Supreme Court, has found Hecht not guilty of the charges. The panel’s lengthy opinion, which we’ve only skimmed, turns on how to construe a number of terms in the Texas Code that haven’t been adequately developed in the case law. The full decision is available here (PDF).
Our reaction? We’re pleased to see that chivalry is not dead in the Lone Star State.
No Reprimand in Judge’s Support of Miers [Associated Press]
Panel Clears Texas Supreme Court Justice [Austin American-Statesman via How Appealing]
Justice Nathan L. Hecht [Texas Judiciary Online]