Trouble With Commas: More on Miers' Writing.--

The written response of Harriet Miers to Senate questions does little to comfort those of us concerned about her writing ability (tip to Conglomerate).

(I have been unable to find a copy on the Senate Judiciary Committee's website, relying instead on a pdf posted on NRO. As before, it is possible that there has been some sort of transcription error.)

Consider this passage on page 50 of Miers' questionnaire:

My experience on the City Council helps me understand the interplay between serving on a policy making board and serving as a judge. An example, of this distinction can be seen in a vote of the council to ban flag burning. The Council was free to state its policy position, we were against flag burning. The Supreme Court's role was to determine whether our Constitution allows such a ban. The City Council was anxious to encourage minority and women-owned businesses, but our processes had to conform to equal protection requirements, as well.

My City Council service and working in economic development activities afforded me with special insight into the importance of a stable, respected, and fair judiciary in which the public can have confidence.

Reading this excerpt is depressing. Once again, I urge people to read several of her published pieces, which the University of Michigan has helpfully put online (scroll down to "Articles by Miers").

Everyone makes mistakes in writing (I certainly do) and nobody is perfect. But in reading Miers' writing, I keep looking for a spark. Where is the good stuff? Where are the passages that show a bright, analytical mind — or failing that, a basic competence in placing commas?


Over at Conglomerate, Christine Hurt read the first paragraph I repeated above and commented:

Were the women and minority-owned businesses burning flags? Did we switch topics? I'm confused.

Yes, everyone makes typos/spelling errors. However, most of us catch them before we hand them to the Senate in our application for one of the most powerful positions in the country, which is the most powerful in the world.


A reader over at Althouse notes a letter that Miers wrote Bush. In particular, read page 14 here. The last sentence on that page is a doozy.