Harriet Miers,White House Counsel under President George W. Bush
Miers, President George W. Bush's chief legal counsel since Feb. 2005, was nominated for the U.S. Supreme Court in October 2005. She had never served as a judge before, and her nomination faced significant opposition from members of Congress. She withdrew her nomination at the end of the month, after weeks or searing questions regarding her credentials from Democrats and Republicans, accusations that the appointment was cronyism (Miers had worked as Bush's personal lawyer and the two had been friends for decades), and especially strong criticism from conservatives who wanted a judge who clearly opposed abortion and supported other important conservative goals.
Miers was born in Dallas, Texas, in 1945 and received her bachelor's degree in mathematics in 1967 and a law degree in 1970 from Southern Methodist University. She clerked for a U.S. District Judge from 1970 to 1972, and then served as a litigator for the next 26 years, representing such clients as Microsoft, Walt Disney Co. and SunGard Data Systems Inc. Miers became President Bush's personal lawyer in Texas during the 1980s, and the two have remained close ever since. In addition to her legal career, Miers served one term on the Dallas City Council.
Miers was the first woman hired by the prestigious Dallas law firm Locke Purnell Boren Laney & Neely. She was also was the first female president of the Dallas Bar Association and the first female president of the Texas Bar Association. She was named one of the Top 50 Most Influential Lawyers by the National Law Journal in 1998, and has received a number of other awards.