Mier’s answer to the constitutional law question of her questionnaire is generating some press. I blogged about it two days ago (Miers Doesn’t Know Shit About Con Law). My law school prof chimes in here:
At one point, Miers described her service on the Dallas City Council in 1989. When the city was sued on allegations that it violated the Voting Rights Act, she said, "the council had to be sure to comply with the proportional representation requirement of the Equal Protection Clause."
But the Supreme Court repeatedly has said the Constitution’s guarantee of "equal protection of the laws" does not mean that city councils or state legislatures must have the same proportion of blacks, Latinos and Asians as the voting population.
"That’s a terrible answer. There is no proportional representation requirement under the equal protection clause," said New York University law professor Burt Neuborne, a voting rights expert. "If a first-year law student wrote that and submitted it in class, I would send it back and say it was unacceptable."
He would have, too.
On other Miers-related fronts, this is raising a few eyebrows:
Campaign records show Bush’s Texas gubernatorial campaigns paid Miers a total of $163,000 in legal fees, most of it for work done during the future president’s 1998 re-election bid.
Reports filed with the Texas Ethics Commission show that two payments of $70,000 were made to Miers’ Locke, Purnell, Rain and Harrell firm in Dallas within a month of each other during the 1998 campaign. Another $16,000 in payments were made between March and December 1999.
The 1998 totals dwarfed the $7,000 Bush paid Miers’ firm during his first run for governor in 1994, and are extremely large for campaign legal work in Texas, an expert said.
"I’m baffled," said Randall B. Wood, a partner in the Austin firm of Ray, Wood and Bonilla, and former director of Common Cause of Texas. "I’ve never seen that kind of money spent on a campaign lawyer. It’s unprecedented."
Former Texas Land Commissioner Garry Mauro, a Democrat who was defeated handily by Bush in the 1998 campaign, said both the amount and the timing of the payments are curious. In late September, when Miers’ firm received the first of two $70,000 payments, Mauro said he trailed Bush in the polls by 35 points.
"If they’re spending that kind of money," said Mauro, now an Austin attorney who estimates he spent less than $20,000 on legal fees during the campaign, "they’re spending it to protect themselves from something."
C’mon. We all know what that "something" is. Bush’s past — his military record, drug use, etc. Let’s not be obtuse about this.