Miers’s Attention to Detail

One of Miers’ traits regularly cited by her supporters is her attention to detail. Thus, her disclosure in the Senate Judiciary Committee questionnaire that she had her D.C. bar license temporarily suspended because she failed to pay her D.C. bar dues is interesting. As reported in today’s Washington Post story:

Cynthia Kuhn, a spokeswoman for the D.C. bar, said Miers was nearly four months late in paying her 2004-05 dues to maintain her membership, which is required of all lawyers who practice in the District. Kuhn said that the $165 fee was due July 1, 2004, and that Miers was sent three bills and reminders before her membership was suspended on Sept. 30. Nearly a month after a suspension notice was sent, Miers mailed a check for her dues, a late fee and a reinstatement fee that the organization processed on Oct. 27.

Dana Perino, a White House spokeswoman, said that federal lawyers are not required to belong to the D.C. bar, as long as they are bar members in their home states — Texas, in Miers’s case.

White House colleagues have portrayed Miers as uncommonly meticulous in her work. Yet her 57-page response to the committee’s questionnaire appears, in several aspects, less precise than the one submitted in August by the last nominee to the court, John G. Roberts Jr., now the chief justice. She listed as “date unknown” a commencement address that she gave at the Texas Tech University School of Law. And asked to list all interviews she had granted newspapers and other news organizations, she omitted an interview with The Washington Post in June.

In acknowledging her problem with the D.C. bar, Miers wrote that she was notified about her delinquent dues “earlier this year,” although it actually was during 2004.

Jonathan H. Adler — Jonathan H. Adler teaches courses in environmental, administrative, and constitutional law at the Case Western Reserve University School of Law.

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