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Bush Supreme Court Nominee Former Microsoft Lawyer

CmdrTaco posted about 9 years ago | from the well-thats-one-way-to-get-at-this-story dept.

The Courts 1036

DaveM writes "Bush's most recent Supreme Court nominee, Harriet Miers, successfully argued that people who were sold defective software by Microsoft weren't "injured," and couldn't participate in a class action against the company. The case involved unstable compression features in MS DOS 6.0, which were corrected by a $9.95 update, MS DOS 6.2. Plaintiffs wanted Microsoft to offer the updates for free, but eventually lost to Miers' arguments."

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If you were dumb enuff to use DOS ... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13711928)

... you deserved to be ripped off.

Re:If you were dumb enuff to use DOS ... (-1, Offtopic)

tomhudson (43916) | about 9 years ago | (#13712031)

No, its "If you were dumb enough to vote for George Bush, TWICE, you're too stupid to know you've been ripped off." AND you deserve it! I just pity the rest of the poor slobs who have more than room-temperature IQ and know they're getting fucked over again.

Mary had a little sheep
And with that sheep she went to sleep
The sheep turned out to be a ram
Mary had a little lamb

Burma Shave

Maybe she'll help out when they impeach Bush (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13711935)

Re:Maybe she'll help out when they impeach Bush (2, Insightful)

schnikies79 (788746) | about 9 years ago | (#13711970)

Of course, because you heard it on the news, it must be factual. I don't like the guy much either but I don't believe every bit of drivel to come down the pipe.

Re:Maybe she'll help out when they impeach Bush (1)

Iriel (810009) | about 9 years ago | (#13712007)

But if this is true, we should still call the EU leaders to find out how they beat Microsoft in Europe to glean some useful tactics ^_^

Re:Maybe she'll help out when they impeach Bush (1)

schnikies79 (788746) | about 9 years ago | (#13712049)

We need to do that either way!

Re:Maybe she'll help out when they impeach Bush (0)

stupidfoo (836212) | about 9 years ago | (#13712008)

Why is this a liberal wet dream? If they were to impeach him then Cheney would become president.

Re:Maybe she'll help out when they impeach Bush (1)

Janitha (817744) | about 9 years ago | (#13712058)

Thus repeat the process until the line of command is out and some janitor working in the basement will be president.

Re:Maybe she'll help out when they impeach Bush (0)

beavioso (853680) | about 9 years ago | (#13712122)

Clinton was technically impeached, but did Al Gore become president?

I Was Injured (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13711938)

. . . when I put my fist through the frickin' BSOD!!!

Damn... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13711941)

It must suck to live in your country :-)

Re:Damn... (1)

ghukov (854181) | about 9 years ago | (#13711955)

yeah, it does. please stay where you are. please.

Great (-1, Troll)

the-amazing-blob (917722) | about 9 years ago | (#13711949)

Why couldn't Bush have chosen someone less crazy? :P

Re:Great (1)

the-amazing-blob (917722) | about 9 years ago | (#13712034)

ok, so I take that back. A bit too harsh. Sorry for the inconvenience.


Great (0, Flamebait)

Blade80 (416070) | about 9 years ago | (#13711950)

Now we will have a government that 100% pro oil and microsoft.

Capitalism (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13711954)

Is this capitalism? I think that is a new form of goberment (it's not comunism, it's not anarchy,...)
Any one has a good name for it?

Re:Capitalism (2, Insightful)

ikejam (821818) | about 9 years ago | (#13711991)

that'd be plutocracy

Re:Capitalism (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13711999)

Fascism? []

Re:Capitalism (0, Offtopic)

chrisnewbie (708349) | about 9 years ago | (#13712153)

Bush wants to be a king and that's it. King bush decides all, king bush has veto over everything, King bush can take control over anything.

King Bush thinks he even owns and or has the right to tell other country what to do.

All hail king bush or throw rocks at him.

We in Canada dont have this Shit,,,Oh wait we're still a colony under the rule of england,,damn.

Indictments at the Gates (3, Interesting)

Doc Ruby (173196) | about 9 years ago | (#13711956)

How long before people connect the "Gates" [] ? From the "Preston, Gates" firm connecting Abramoff [] to the rest of the Republican indictment gang, to the "Gates" whose giant monopoly was released from liability by the Republicans?

Nice flaming headline. (2, Insightful)

hanshotfirst (851936) | about 9 years ago | (#13711980)

No bias here, oh no.


A former mail clerk in GWB's oil company once used Microsoft Windows to play minesweeper. Now that mail clerk is the Janitor at Google! Does this mean Google is evil?

Re:Nice flaming headline. (5, Funny)

saintp (595331) | about 9 years ago | (#13712025)

Uh, how is that a flame? It's a fact. Bush's latest nominee used to be a lawyer for Microsoft. Whoopty-doo. How would you prefer they put it? "Bush court nominee hugs fuzzy bunnies, gives flags to orphans"?

Re:Nice flaming headline. (4, Funny)

stupidfoo (836212) | about 9 years ago | (#13712063)

"Bush bans oil! All cars must run on skittles and drive on rainbows"

Now I have to filter out Taco's posts.. (0)

Unski (821437) | about 9 years ago | (#13712162) well as Zonk's. I'm no fan of GBW and his ilk, but doesn't give me any additional reason to hate the administration, it's so poor and irrelevant as to be laughable. If successfully defending a paid-for patch for DOS which should have been free is the worst IT-related crime of this Supreme Court nominee, maybe the administration is not as evil as I thought.

$10 UPDATE? (2)

dominick (550229) | about 9 years ago | (#13711982)

A class action lawsuit over a $10 update? DAMNNN...

I wonder what those people think of the Cisco and Oracle updates being
you have to pay $$$$$ for subscription services. They probably
dumped a load in their boxers.


This is why..... (0, Troll)

xao gypsie (641755) | about 9 years ago | (#13711984)

...I used to be a republican. They only have big business in their minds, rather than us. I fear what may happen if this one gets his seat on the supreme court. I mean, I am all for supporting my president and leadership in tough times, but this incident makes me doubt that the working class/not wealthy are on the minds of our current leadership.

Re:This is why..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13712021)

Those of us employeed by 'big business', directly or indirectly, are glad the Freepers are in power, and not the DUmbasses.

Re:This is why..... (1)

xao gypsie (641755) | about 9 years ago | (#13712048)

But I'm not a Democrat either.

Re:This is why..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13712171)

Oh, come on guys, jump on the bandwaggon!!! I hate Microsoft and GW and anyone who associates with either one!!! Flame Flame Flame!!!

Re:This is why..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13712149)

The Republicans and Democrats both only want power in spite of what they say. Republicans try to claim that they are for small government. The Democrats classic claim is to look out for the poor little guy, and they do it by taxing the bejeezus out of people that work like me and dole it out as they decide. Make no mistake, control of money is power, and buying (figuratively) votes is how they do it, even increasing their base with those that want something for nothing. Both parties are a bunch of scumbags.

Wrong process anyway (2, Insightful)

pubjames (468013) | about 9 years ago | (#13711987)

Having the president appoint supreme court judges is wrong anyway. There should be a better process of selecting them. How's it done in other countries?

Re:Wrong process anyway (1)

GrungyLotG (890944) | about 9 years ago | (#13712040)

Well they have to be approved by the senate as well, although it's arguable how much good that really does if the president's party also has a senate majority.

Re:Wrong process anyway (4, Funny)

deanj (519759) | about 9 years ago | (#13712056)

They shoot the judges that used to be there, and install new judges.

Re:Wrong process anyway (1)

Hrvat (307784) | about 9 years ago | (#13712079)

The process is not perfect but IMHO it is still good. You have to remember that although the President does appoint the justices they still have to be confirmed by the Congress and once they're on the bench they're not beholden to anyone.

Checks and balances.

um, ok.... (4, Insightful)

everphilski (877346) | about 9 years ago | (#13712083)

He appoints nominees, the senate makes the final decision. If the senate doesn't like what they see, the democrats (the opposing party at the moment) can filabuster, or the senators will vote against her.

You need a single point to bring people into consideration. Otherwise what are they gonna do, have all 100 senators sit at a table and talk until they can find someone they all like? riiight, like that's gonna find someone quickly :P.


Re:um, ok.... (1)

pubjames (468013) | about 9 years ago | (#13712116)

If the senate doesn't like what they see, the democrats (the opposing party at the moment) can filabuster

But the filibuster is a bit of a stupid process as well isn't it? It all needs changing as far as I can see.

Re:um, ok.... (0)

(A)*(B)!0_- (888552) | about 9 years ago | (#13712181)

Well the best way to effect change is to make a flippant remark on Slashdot.

Congrats on your great work!

Re:Wrong process anyway (3, Insightful)

Fezzick (913356) | about 9 years ago | (#13712103)

Appointment of a supreme court judge by the president is absolutely essential; our forefathers specifically designed our federal goverment that way . This directly corresponds to the checks and balances between the three branches of goverment that every US student learned in social studies class (in this case, the executive over the judiciary).

Re:Wrong process anyway (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13712168)


You couldn't be more wrong...

The judicial branch is there to uphold the constitution which is the highest letter of the law in the U.S. I think you must be referring to how the current administration uses the Constitution as toilet paper so it'd be easy to get that hierarchy misunderstood.

Re:Wrong process anyway (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13712121)

The Founding Fathers set it up this way so there were checks and balances. The President submits a candidate and it's up to the Senate to approve them or not. All candidates do NOT get approved. Some give up without a vote.

It's obvious the question is from an anti-Bush person. What exactly would you suggest? Have the Senate appoint them? Well, there would be no checks and balances that way and since the Senate is currently in Republican hands, for the most part VERY CONSERVATIVE Republican hands, I have a gut feeling that if the Senate appointed someone you probably would like that person even less. I have a feeling that if there was a Democratic president then you wouldn't have a problem with the process. Besides, you never really know what the judges will do anyway. I doubt that the first President Bush had any idea that David Souter would turn out the way he did on the court and I'm sure if he could go back in time he would not have nominated him.

What do you expect? (5, Insightful)

Viper Daimao (911947) | about 9 years ago | (#13711995)

What was she supposed to argue? "My client is guilty."?

Re:What do you expect? (1)

Pichu0102 (916292) | about 9 years ago | (#13712050)

Well, Microsoft SHOULD have offered updates for free if they screwed something up, because asking people to upgrade their software for money because they screwed something up is like a person telling you that you need to send money in to repair a toaster that doesn't work that you just bought.

Re:What do you expect? (2, Insightful)

Viper Daimao (911947) | about 9 years ago | (#13712120)

Yeah, what does what microsoft should have done have to do with the Supreme Court nominee? They hired her firm, she argued their case. Or am I missing the point of the /. article? Are we bashing Microsoft or Bush's Nominee?

Re:What do you expect? (5, Informative)

GreyPoopon (411036) | about 9 years ago | (#13712096)

What was she supposed to argue? "My client is guilty."?

And more importantly, if you read through other news articles about her, you'll see that many of her arguments are highly based on logic. In the mentioned Microsoft case, her argument was against the "class" that was chosen for the lawsuit. The plaintiffs chose everyone who bought DOS 6.0 as for the class, arguing that they had been harmed and shouldn't have to pay $10 for an upgrade. However, not everybody who bought the product was using, or intended to use the compression features, so it was difficult to justify including all of them in the class. Therefore, the class was decertified. The suit was dismissed and dropped because the lawyer representing the plaintiffs didn't want to bother with actually getting a more reasonable class determined for the suit.

Well... (3, Insightful)

theantipop (803016) | about 9 years ago | (#13711997)

I can't say it's a great thing for America to have so many Republican justices, but I don't see how anyone can get wrapped up on this point? So she was good at her job. Is that something that we need to villify?

Re:Well... (1)

SimilarityEngine (892055) | about 9 years ago | (#13712086)

Here is the Wikipedia entry for Harriet Miers... apparently she has not once served as a judge, nor has she ever argued a case in the Supreme Court. Interesting choice.

Re:Well... (2, Informative)

SimilarityEngine (892055) | about 9 years ago | (#13712119)

Mucked up the link... here it is [] ... sorry.

Re:Well... (1)

failure-man (870605) | about 9 years ago | (#13712156)

That's the point. Stealth nomination. No track record == nothing to bite on in confirmation hearings.
Given these tactics it's probably safe to assume that she'll rule on the side of corporate feudalism and theocracy. Shrubby wouldn't have nominated her otherwise . . . . . . .

Republican Justices? (3, Insightful)

Medievalist (16032) | about 9 years ago | (#13712159)

Once appointed, Supreme Court Justices are pretty much free to rise above the (nearly invisible) Republican/Democrat split if they so choose.

Individual Justices do tend to be either authoritarian or libertarian, and either punishment-oriented or goal-oriented, though; some people incorrectly assign these values to the parties (just because GWB is a punishment-oriented authoritarian doesn't mean those are the values of the people who are registered republicans).

If it makes you feel better, Harriet Miers has been reported to be a Gore supporter by the mainstream media.

So she did her job... (4, Insightful)

Animaether (411575) | about 9 years ago | (#13712001)

...and she did it well. Well enough to win a case that at least on grounds of common sense (which typically doesn't apply to legal rulings) she should've lost.

Are 'we' going to fault her for that ?

Re:So she did her job... (1)

starseeker (141897) | about 9 years ago | (#13712128)

"Are 'we' going to fault her for that ?"

It depends. I would have been more impressed if she refused to make an argument to (I'm assuming Microsoft was indeed at fault) bury the goal of justice in favor of a victory for her client. Maybe I'm wrong but I see a lawyer's first duty as the supporter of justice, and second to make the best argument for a client that is compatible with justice. I grant that this doesn't seem to be the current thought, but I regard that as a flaw in the system. Getting a guilty client off should be seen as shameful - it's a failure of the system, and the lawyer participated in it. People seem to think that the justice system is like an arena - you fight well enough and you can beat the law. That's a very scary way to view things, IMHO.

Re:So she did her job... (1)

Gulthek (12570) | about 9 years ago | (#13712174)

The idea is actually for both sides to fight as hard as possible for their respective clients. In some weird twisting of logic you can kind of see how some people would think that this leads to justice.

You know, here's a news flash... (5, Insightful)

hivemind_mvgc (823238) | about 9 years ago | (#13712002)

Most lawyers argue a case because they're paid to argue the case, not because they have some personal convictions involved in the case.

Microsoft pays well.

I fail to see any relevance to this story, beyond the usual anti-Microsoft rabble rousing.

Re:You know, here's a news flash... (4, Insightful)

B'Trey (111263) | about 9 years ago | (#13712052)

She's being nominated to the Supreme Court, where she will influence the direction of court cases in the US for likely the next few decades. She has never been a judge, so we have no history of judgements on which to evaluate her. If we don't use her previous work as a lawyer as a basis of judgement, exactly how should we judge her? Or should we simply confirm her as a Supremen Court Justice and hope for the best?

Re:You know, here's a news flash... (4, Interesting)

dAzED1 (33635) | about 9 years ago | (#13712185)

Reinquist, among many others, had never been a judge before serving on SCOTUS.

Re:You know, here's a news flash... (1)

BushCheney08 (917605) | about 9 years ago | (#13712126)


If anything, a good lawyer will tell their client what they want to hear. Who's to say she hasn't been doing this to Bush for the past 20 years? After all, he's exactly the type of person who would be fooled by such a thing.

Re:You know, here's a news flash... (1)

mysqlrocks (783488) | about 9 years ago | (#13712175)

Most lawyers argue a case because they're paid to argue the case, not because they have some personal convictions involved in the case.

What you are saying is absolutely correct. However, which cases a lawyer decides to take does tell you something about them as a person and their politics. If she had been a lawyer defending people in death-penalty cases I'm sure you would be singing a different tune. Am I wrong?

Wow. Slashdot at its best. (1)

browncs (447083) | about 9 years ago | (#13712003)

So, just because it's Microsoft that she worked for, and Bush nominated her, we knee-jerk react that all this is bad?

Do you really want any vendor's software, that has bugs that aren't fixed in a given release (clue: that's EVERY vendor's software), to be liable to a class action lawsuit (translation: lawyer's legal rape and pillage) ??

I think that had the decision gone the other way, you'd see much less innovation and progress from software companies, in general.

Business is not the root of all evil (1)

cenobyte40k (831687) | about 9 years ago | (#13712004)

Why is it that everyone thinks they are due some kind of money any time something doesn't work exactly right. There are a billion products on the planet and it just seems silly that every company should be responcable for every possiable use. I know how most of the people on hear hate business, especially is they have the lead in some market or another but it's business that allows you to do the things you do and live the life you lead. They are not the root of all evil.

Re:Business is not the root of all evil (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13712054)


IOW I have to pay for defective products (1)

Travoltus (110240) | about 9 years ago | (#13712172)

I don't care if it's a huge corporation or the joe next door, I demand the right to redress when their product doesn't work.

I will do everything I can to prevent America from descending back to the state of yankee capitalism caveat emptor that your post obviously envisions.

Ultimately it's also bad for business because if no one can trust their crap then they will all lose business, not just the miscreant company.

In other news... (4, Insightful)

Reality Master 101 (179095) | about 9 years ago | (#13712005)

Lawyers argue for what their clients pay them to argue.

Exactly what is the story here? Both sides had lawyers. Are you going to tell me that all the lawyers on the other side are shining knights of glory?

Good (1, Troll)

Kohath (38547) | about 9 years ago | (#13712010)

The only thing worse than big corporate lawyers protecting clients who sold shoddy products are bottom-feeding class action lawyers.

Miers Qualifications (1)

Ruvim (889012) | about 9 years ago | (#13712014)

So, I guess this actually improves Miers' qualification, upgrading her from a Bush's personal pocket lawyer to a corporate small-guy-hunting one.

Nice Way of Slashdot to Shoehorn This Story (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13712016)

This is such a non-story it's ridiculous. Miers was a lawyer for a private law firm. As such, they take cases and they represent their clients and advocate for them as best as they can.

What are you guys trying to get at here? That attorney's views are the same as their clients?

This story sucks, and slashdot is obviously trying to start a flamewar here. Nice trolling, Taco.

Re:Nice Way of Slashdot to Shoehorn This Story (1)

pl1ght (836951) | about 9 years ago | (#13712144)

Id say you should get + points for this. But from this article, the liberal Bush/Microsoft hating Moderators are only giving + points for people blatantly flaming the nominee and microsoft. They would be getting Troll negative points if their view were reversed. nice one slashdot. your political biased ignorance never ceases to amaze me. This story is pure flamebait and nothing else. Her representation of Microsoft only represents her duties to represent her client no matter what their stance. There is nothing underneath of that to dissect.

Key phrase (4, Insightful)

deanj (519759) | about 9 years ago | (#13712019)

Rather that turning this into a political farce, for someone that has an axe to grind with this new nominee, let's cut to the chase here, and look at the key phrase in that article:

"Microsoft believed that only people who actually lost data had a right to sue; that those merely with faulty software hadn't been injured."

I hate Microsoft as much of the next guy, but I don't see what's wrong with this. It's basically saying "If you lost data, you can sue. If you didn't, you can't".

Sounds like the people that wanted to sue Microsoft, but didn't have anything go wrong for them, got caught.

Besides, there are plenty of other defects in Microsoft software they probably could have sued for instead.

Re:Key phrase (2, Insightful)

Speare (84249) | about 9 years ago | (#13712075)

I hate Chevrolet as much of the next guy, but I don't see what's wrong with this. It's basically saying "If you lost a child in a horrific crash due to a known brake failure problem in that line of cars, you can sue. If you didn't, you can't."

Re:Key phrase (5, Insightful)

SimilarityEngine (892055) | about 9 years ago | (#13712164)

But it goes further, to say: if you have defective brakes, you are not entitled to a free replacement - even if those brakes are shown to have caused serious accidents.

Re:Key phrase (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13712169)

That's the stupidest analogy (and wrong) I've ever read on /, and that's saying something. Does you mother let you out of the house without your drool bucket?

Brakes are a primary function of a car. If MS had screwed up a primary function of their software, everyone could have sued. ...But I guess that's a little beyond your comprehension, eh, Mr. Drool Bucket?

Big Law Firm - MS has Bucks (4, Insightful)

justanyone (308934) | about 9 years ago | (#13712022)

I'm not ready to disqualify a supreme court nominee based on their having had as a client one of the richest corporations on the planet. She was head of the largest law firm in (Texas? Dallas?) and thus had available lawyers to devote to a case; Microsoft had money to pay them; that's normal.

I would object to this nominee based on her:
* committing unethical acts while representing them;
* arguing a totally untenable or specious position or otherwise demonstrating gross incompetence;
* obviously agreeing with her client in her private speech (indicating a personal position, not a professional representation of her client's position), where that client's position was representative of unethical behavior or attitudes, etc.;
* use of legal arguments based far outside of conventional legal mainstream thought (the Bork-Wacko factor).

It seems to me we should pay attention to ethics, competence, and political leanings that don't represent the broadly accepted norm, or if she's in the past said she will legislate from the bench (which I highly doubt given her lack of being a judge previously).

oh the hating (1)

Janitha (817744) | about 9 years ago | (#13712028)

Note that this was when computing was not mainstream and FOSS was in its infancy. I think the sucess of that argument was because nobody else really knew about what was going on at the time.

Don't get me wrong, I worship FOSS despise Microsoft the current administration, but just because someone worked for MS and defended sucessfully doesn't mean that they did because they truely believe it (hopefully this isn't the case because then it would really suck for a case involving FOSS and Microsoft to go up there).

Oh god, it begins. (1)

christian.elliott (892060) | about 9 years ago | (#13712035)

Microsoft + Lawyer + Bush

Feed her to the Lions!
This isn't gonna be pretty. Might as well start some rumors about how she hates open-source and is a follower of Intelligent Design.

# Parental Advisory
# Explicit Comments
# Below


They were right (-1, Flamebait)

MECC (8478) | about 9 years ago | (#13712041)

She is a pit bull. . .

That doesn't give a shit about consumer rights - yet another corporate advocate. Makes one wonder where she would stand on Tanya Anderson .vs. RIAA, if it were to make to the Supreme court. Bias towards consumer, or towards sociopathic racketeers who happen to be corporations.

At least she's not a former horse show manager, as far as we know.

Re:They were right (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13712138)

> At least she's not a former horse show manager, as far as we know.

No, she's not that qualified.

Unbelievable (1, Flamebait)

EraserMouseMan (847479) | about 9 years ago | (#13712045)

I'm sure the poster is hoping that this article enlightens the /. reader somehow. The fact is that probably 70% of /. patrons are MS hating liberals ("independent" & "moderate" == liberal). So this article is just more fuel for the flames and really does nothing else.

I guess it's pretty nifty how one article can be such a home-run with both Bush haters and MS haters at the same time!!

oh god (3, Insightful)

nomadic (141991) | about 9 years ago | (#13712055)

What stupidity. There are a bunch of reasons to criticize her: no judicial experience or constitutional scholarship; hell, she's just a Bush flunky. The fact that she was hired as an advocate for Microsoft isn't one of them. I mean, get some goddamn perspective.

The big question... (1)

Smitty825 (114634) | about 9 years ago | (#13712057)

The big question (at least in my mind) is this something that she argued for (as MS's paid attorney) or is this one of her core values and what impact this would have on her supreme court voting record. I would hope that during her hearing in the senate that her true beliefs will come out, and we can then decide if this is the person we want for the supreme court...

I know that I have worked in software houses before where I've done stuff that I don't believe in (removing lots of cool features from a cell phone so a provider can sell them back to the consumer comes to mind), but I did that because that is what I was paid to do.

New software: MS Bush (1)

KayakFun (720628) | about 9 years ago | (#13712059)

If you can't win, just appoint someone who will change the rules or vote your way.

Didn't we see this behaviour earlier when 'independent' analists declared Linux inferior to Windows?

Funny how GWB's election compaign and the following years are such a natural match to MS beta versions and the real thing.

Typo? (1)

mysqlrocks (783488) | about 9 years ago | (#13712067)

As laid out in Microsoft Corp. v. Manning, et al...

Isn't the plaintiff usually listed first? Or was Microsoft the plaintiff in this case?

Both sides (4, Interesting)

skydude_20 (307538) | about 9 years ago | (#13712069)

Miers argued for Microsoft and the new chief justice John Roberts argued for the states against Microsoft, so at least we know the discussions between the two will be lively behind the scenes of the courtroom.

What would be the alternative? (1)

wren337 (182018) | about 9 years ago | (#13712071)

What if the headline read "She was a lawyer at Microsoft, and she intentionally lost the case, because she secretly thought Microsoft was wrong to charge for the update."

What do you think it means to be lawyer?

Plus, that would be one long headline.

Okay, that does it (-1, Flamebait)

LeonGeeste (917243) | about 9 years ago | (#13712074)

Bork the bitch!

No Judicial Experience (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13712084)

I'd be a little bit more concerned about the fact that she has no judicial experience. It's apaprently not *that* unusual; Rehnquist had none when he was nominated to the Court. Thomas had almost none. The gripe that I have with Roberts--only two years' experience as a judge before becoming the Chief Justice is an outrage--doesn't really apply here. Or rather, it wouldn't if there weren't already two sitting judges with very little judicial experience.

What's really a concern is that there are a bunch of people out there, and I forget who the talking heads were, for which I apologize, who are saying that Harriet Miers is not considered a legal scholar, but Just Another Corporate Lawyer. That's troubling to me, far more troubling than her work for Microsoft.

It's also troubling, of course, that this is Just Another Bush Crony getting a job, but the stakes are far, far higher than the stakes at FEMA under Brown and Chertoff. They can be fired or replaced. A Justice can't.

felons' dream team: my lawyer is my judge (1)

already_gone (848753) | about 9 years ago | (#13712085)

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Re:felons' dream team: my lawyer is my judge (0)

g0bshiTe (596213) | about 9 years ago | (#13712125)

Thank You Captain Subliminal.

Harriet Miers, the geek Justice (1)

euthman (209060) | about 9 years ago | (#13712087)

After suffering one intellectually challenged Bush appointee after another, I find some consolation in the Miers nomination. First of all, she has an undergraduate degree in math, which puts her above 99.9% of all politicians in the intelligence department. Second, the fact that she successfully defended Microsoft indicates that she at least understands some geek issues.

Before Miers, all we had was Al Gore.

Um... (4, Insightful)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | about 9 years ago | (#13712108)

I'm no fan of Bush and could give a flip about Meirs, but isn't this reaching a bit? If this is the worst anyone can come up with... or were you just looking for a tech angle?

I was hoping he would nominate Janice Rogers Brown, a black female conservative Christian libertarian and daughter of a sharecropper, if only for the fun in watching the media and politicians desperately try to pigeon hole her. Thousands and thousands of exploding heads guaranteed with that one. Oh well...

And Bush loves his iPod... your point? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13712112)

I am about as left as you can get, but even I think this story is about as irrelevent as you can get...

Not very telling (4, Insightful)

Pedrito (94783) | about 9 years ago | (#13712113)

Lawyers are hired to win cases. Lawyers frequently champion causes they don't personally support. It's their job to win their clients' cases. The job of a lawyer is not to be impartial or fair minded. You can't fault her for doing her job.

What concerns me more is that she has no experience being a judge so there's nothing really to base a judgement of how impartial or fair minded she would be as judge. You can't really know how she'll interpret the law until she's judged cases.

This goes back, in my opinion, to Bush hiring completely unqualified people for important positions, like Mike Brown at FEMA, only the consequences of this choice will reach much further into the future.

Linux patent cases (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13712114)

What is the worry? That she will vote in favor of Microsoft on any Supreme Court case about all the Microsoft patents that Linux is infringing on?

Anybody know where the cases are in the court?

New US ambassador to EU was/is MSFT lobbyist (1)

FlorianMueller (801981) | about 9 years ago | (#13712129)

While the involvement of that judge in a particular lawsuit may be a coincidence (more or less), it's also a fact that Bush recently chose a former Microsoft lobbyist, C. Boyden Gray, to become the next permanent representative (that's basically an ambassador) of the US to the EU. Boyden Gray helped Microsoft turn the US anti-trust case around.

There are also rumors of Microsoft having influenced Matt Romney, the Republican governor of Massachusetts who then personally intervened with the plans of the state administration to push for an open-source migration (and watered the plan down to an open-standards concept). Romney is considered to be close to Bush, and is rumored to have ambitions to succeed Bush in a few years. Microsoft's "Political Action Committees" were major donors in the presidential elections last year and among the largest donors to the three or four most hopeful candidates in the Democratic primaries.

Though she's a bad pick, this case means nothing (1)

DesScorp (410532) | about 9 years ago | (#13712130)

Folks, she was a trial lawyer. It was her job to argue her clients position. Unless you're working for an idealogically based organization (ACLU, ACLJ, EFF, NRA), you're basically a mercenary, a hired gun for your client.

Miers sucks as a SCOTUS nominee, but the fact that she once represented Microsoft has nothing to do with that.

does this mean... (1)

notnAP (846325) | about 9 years ago | (#13712139)

she'll later decide that detainees (as opposed to prisoners) at Guantanamo Bay are not being injured, but are instead merely being inconvenienced?
Not that I mind there are actually one or two real terrorists among the other political prisoners being held there against their will and without legal recourse - hey I'm American too, turn off the Patriot Act Special Forces and call off the FBI, there's no need to come and arrest my ass for speakin....... [NO CARRIER]

[RESUME TRANSMISSION] To all Slashdot Denizons... notnAP has been inconvenienced, but we assure you, not injured.

Stacker (1)

NotFamous (827147) | about 9 years ago | (#13712142)

Is this the compression code they "borrowed" from Stacker?

This would only be bad (1)

ifwm (687373) | about 9 years ago | (#13712143)

If she had argued the case and lost.

Then she'd be a crappy lawyer, at which point there would be a genuine objection to her nomination.

Clients of attorney mostly irrelevant (1)

XavierItzmann (687234) | about 9 years ago | (#13712155)

So Miers once worked for the Great Satan.... so what?

By that logic, any attorney who ever worked for a client _you_ don't like, should be disqualified from becoming a judge. And what about attorneys who defend people accused of murder, especially if the accused end up being convicted of murder?

Are you then going to say the attorney is a bad attorney because she "defended child murderers who ended up in the electric chair" ?

True, attorneys often have a choice on whether to take a client or not (especially if they are a partner or have a private practice), and their client selection sometimes says something of their maturity and personality; but this is not always the case. To generalize, is simply to throw mud for the sake of muddying up; of biting ankles just for anklebiting.

Vigin Judgeship (1)

PacketScan (797299) | about 9 years ago | (#13712160)

Not only Do you appoint uneducated people to Major Positions *cough FEMA. Now we are appointing or giving people judgeship for no good reason. She has never heard a case as a judge what makes you think she can be a supreme court judge. This is a F#$#ing Joke.

I'm Not going to stand for it i've already written my congress persons as well as contracted the attorney general for my state. As there is a Great travisty being commited againts the american people.

W. choosing someone in his pockets.... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13712179)

I am personally bothered by this choice W. has offered. She is his personal laywer and has been for many many many years... she has never been a judge, a constitutional law scholar, or anything-- just a representative for political people and corporations. She should not be allowed to join the supreme court.

So What? (0, Redundant)

ninja_pirate (893242) | about 9 years ago | (#13712183)

Microsoft (who has billions of dollars to spend on any lawyer they want) chose her to argue their case and she won. All this means is that MS thinks she's a dang good lawyer and then she proved she was a dang good lawyer. Big whoop.
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