Sunday, October 16, 2005

Harriet Miers - Dizzy


Some think President Bush has a small inner circle, and that Harriet Miers fans are not widespread.

Maybe not.

Her guy, Nathan Hecht, likes her. A Texas Supreme Court justice likes her. Well, that is the same guy, but still, he wears two hats, or robes, or whatever.

Her sister-in-law, Elizabeth Lang-Miers, likes her. A judge on the Texas Fifth District Court of Appeals (Dallas) likes her. Well, that is the same gal, Elizabeth Lang-Miers, but...

Another judge on the Texas Fifth District Court of Appeals (Dallas), David Lang, likes her. The brother of the judicial sister-in-law likes her. Well, that is the same guy, David Lang, the brother of Elizabeth Lang-Miers, but still...,

A Federal District Court Judge in Dallas, Ed Kinkeade, likes her. A former judge on the Texas Fifth District Court of Appeals (Dallas), Ed Kinkeade, likes her. Well, that is the same guy, but still....

President Bush likes her. Yes, this is the same President Bush who appointed Ed Kinkaede to the Federal District Court bench, which took him from the court on which David Lang served and opened the seat to which Elizabeth Lang-Miers was appointed by Governor Perry, who became Governor when President Bush became President.

Laura Bush likes her. Laura and Harriet went to SMU. Same time. Same place. Small world.

Law professor Linda Eads, of the Dedman School of Law at SMU, where Harriet was on the board, likes her. In July 2000, Laura Bush joined the SMU Board of Trustees, joining Dick Cheney who served from 1996 until August, 2000. SMU is seeking the Bush Presidential Library. The faculty advisor to the externship for one Dedman student with District Judge Ed Kinkeade likes her. Well, that is the same Linda Eads and the same Ed Kinkeade, but still....

Federal Court of Appeals Judge Priscilla Owen likes her. Former Texas Supreme Court Justice Owen likes her. Yes, they are the same. Judge Owen was nominated by President Bush while Miss Miers worked for him. Priscilla Owen served with Justice Nathan Hecht. Yes they dated - that is Hecht and Owen and Hecht and Miers dated. They are all friends. Rumors suggest that Judge Owen was the first choice of President Bush for the Supreme Court, but she withdrew because of either (1) poor vote count projections from the Senate, or (2) personal reasons. The withdrawal is said to have occurred a few days after President Bush asked Miss Miers if she would like the nomination herself. The conversations between Miss Miers, who was handling the selection process of Justice Hecht and Judge Owen must have been very interesting. How did the conversations change from the time when Owen was the only candidate to the time when Owen and Miers were competing? Did these three people engage in conversations that determined the nominee for the Supreme Court? Did they converse in pairs or did they have a conference call? Was it in person or by phone? Are they all still friends? How much would tapes of those conversations sell for on EBay? Did Miers tell the President that Judge Owen withdrew? Did Owen really withdraw? Did Miers leak a withdrawal story? If not, who did? (I heard the Owen withdrew rumor a few days before the announcement that Miers was chosen. I have also heard that the rumor was false.)

Recently, Miers advocates said that Miers supported renominating some court of appeals nominees who were not confirmed or rejected before the last election. One of those was Owen. Owen was serving as Justice of the Texas Supreme Court with Hecht. Owen is the friend of Hecht and Miers. I have not heard any discussion of whether some factor other than judicial philosophy was involved. If Miers had opposed renominating Owen, would that affect the relationships among the three?

It is so simple. Why am I dizzy?

Think about how Texas lawyers must feel, especially if they practice in front of the guy friend, sister-in-law, the brother of the sister-in-law, or predecessor of the sister-in-law and former bench mate of the brother of the sister-in-law. Are they dizzy too?

Contemplate how Judge Owen feels. The big guy chose her friend Harriet. Harriet was advising the big guy. Ouch!


Blogger Steve Stevenson said...

Interesting. I speculate along very similar lines regarding relationships between many of those people. Skip the most recent rant in my blog and read the post below it.

12:30 PM  
Blogger TheAbsentMindedOne said...


I read it. Your speculation is interesting, but is not all accurate.

For example, the Miers firm was a Dallas firm. It later merged with a Houston firm, and had an Austin office that made the news. But, Miers is Dallas, not Houston.

You missed the Owen trail. Your clues for the day: Holly and Bobby.

2:22 PM  
Blogger Steve Stevenson said...

Wait... which of my posts did you read?

There were two versions; the first, published on October 14 and withdrawn later that day, was a step by step examination of some relevant players, focusing heavily on career direction and fuel, geographic location and social organizational links, like church. I authored this post to give myself a sense of the relationship. It was in this first post that I focused on Dallas, Houston and Austin, and in which I went into detail about Harriet Miers's relationship with Nathan Hecht. This blog post was probably only visible for a few hours.

Then there was a second post, also first authored late on the 14th, this one revised once and stamped on the 15th. This second post is the one I kept visible and circulated. It doesn't mention geography. It does mention Owen, though I treat her as tangential, a side-effect of the Miers-Bush relationship the impact of which is felt in the context of the Miers-Hecht-Bush dynamic. (In this post, I only barely allude to any romantic undertones that may have existed.)

I posted the first version of this second post on the WP blog about Maureen Down. I connected you to her through artwork mentioning her posted elsewhere under your handle. I reasoned that you chanced upon the first version of my second post in that discussion--which is why I'm surprised by your mentioning the Dallas, Houston, Austin problem, since my second post doesn't analyze that.

To add to the confusion, soon after I posted the bit on the Dowd-related Washington Post blog I neatened my article a bit.

In the end, the second version of the article I published on the 15th, the one that has attracted some attention, can be directly accessed by going to:

Are you aware of any factual errors there?

As for your own blog post, I think it's quite good. But I am not sure about the Hecht-Owen romantic affair. As far as media outlets go, Wonkette is the main source of the romantic tie.

The LA Times writes "Hecht has been linked to Priscilla Owen, the controversial federal appellate judge who is his protege and close friend and recently served on the Texas Supreme Court with him" 10/8

LA Weekly also writes "There’s more context to Miers’ anti-choice philosophy. Miers is a member of an extended family of anti-choice candidates moved into public office by Karl Rove. The Texas Supreme Court is loaded with them. On that court, Justice Hecht was also romantically linked to Priscilla Owen." 10/14

As you're aware, it's discussed among smaller media outlets and bloggers, of course.

But it seems flimsy to me, like a story built on thin words such as "linked" and "close friends." I can't find the sort of solid corroborating evidence that could be found for the Hecht-Miers romantic relationship. (Which is why I omitted mention of romantic engamement before publishing a final post.) Are you aware of information that I am not?

I'd like to be clear that I'm not suggesting there is any evidence such a relationship didn't take place; I've been trying to no avail to find substantial evidence in support of the claim romance.

Without further evidence, that's the one factual area of your article I'd shy away from.

But even with such evidence, I'd tell you--this is just a personal view, not a critique--to bear in mind that romance, while sensational, isn't scandalous. What's scandalous is who got where and how.

Excellent job on your article. Thanks for the critique of my article, and for the clues.

- Steven

4:34 PM  
Blogger TheAbsentMindedOne said...


I read yours after you posted here. I think you said Miers was in a Houston firm.

It was Dallas.

But, that is a bit too narrow since they merged with a Houston firm and had an Austin office.

That is all I meant to say on locations.

I did not see the WP item and have not written on Dowd.

Date? What is the word? What are the facts? Hecht does not like the word date. What is platonic man woman quality time? I do not say they held hands or even shook hands. They hung out as a twosome? Words fail me, as they seem to have failed them.

Maybe we can say they were an item?

I do not know what they did. But they were together in a social twosome way. I think.

Romance? I think so. But that is not my point. Relationship? Sure. What kind? I do not know. Dating seems like a reasonable word for some of it and time with a friend for some of it.

But, the relationships matter, whatever they were. There is some history, and it affects the dynamic. Whether they held hands or not.




Today, words are too loaded, but people use them differently, making clarity difficult. So, do not read too much into my word choice.

The only reason the relationship of the three of them is so interesting is that it intersected with the choice of a Supreme Court nominee in a most unusual way. How many relationships in history can say that?

Holly may have been the key to Owen meeting Bush.

4:58 PM  

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