Saturday, October 08, 2005

Harriet E. Miers Helped Bring Feminist Speakers to Southern Methodist

From the Chronicle of Higher Education:
In the late 1990s, as a member of the advisory board for Southern Methodist University’s law school, Ms. Miers pushed for the creation of an endowed lecture series in women’s studies named for Louise B. Raggio, one of the first women to rise to prominence in the Texas legal community. . . .

A feminist icon, Gloria Steinem, delivered the series’s first lecture, in 1998. In the following two years, the speakers were Patricia S. Schroeder, the former Democratic congresswoman widely associated with women’s causes, and Susan Faludi, the author of Backlash: The Undeclared War Against American Women (1991). Ann W. Richards, the Democrat whom George W. Bush unseated as governor of Texas in 1994, delivered the lecture in 2003.

[. . .]

Ms. Miers’s work in setting up the lecture series is part of a pattern of deep involvement with Southern Methodist, where she received a bachelor’s degree in mathematics in 1967 and a law degree in 1970. She served on the law school’s advisory board from 1989 through 2001, on the university alumni association’s board from 1985 through 1988, and on a university board that promotes athletics in 1993 and 1994.

In addition, she worked for the law school in the early 1980s as an adjunct instructor who critiqued students’ skills in arguing cases. The teaching job paid just a few hundred dollars a semester, essentially amounting to volunteer work for a lawyer who was successful in private practice.
Of course, helping set up such a series doesn’t necessarily make her a flaming liberal. But, equally disturbing, it implies that she may be one of those “go along to get along” conservatives. The sort who will acquiesce in the status quo.

The sort who, like the conservatives among the Marquette trustees, caved rather than fought vigorously for the “Warriors” nickname.

We would be way more impressed with somebody who tried to bring real intellectual diversity to campus, not simply more political correctness.

This episode makes her look like the sort of establishment conservative who doesn’t want to upset any apple carts. Which, of course, is not the sort of conservative a president who has promised to change the direction of the court should want.

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