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Bush Supreme Court Nominee Former Microsoft Lawyer 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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Bush Supreme Court Nominee Former Microsoft Lawyer

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  • by Doc Ruby ( 173196 ) on Tuesday October 04, 2005 @09:59AM (#13711956) Homepage Journal
    How long before people connect the "Gates" [lxer.com]? From the "Preston, Gates" firm connecting Abramoff [wikipedia.org] to the rest of the Republican indictment gang, to the "Gates" whose giant monopoly was released from liability by the Republicans?
  • Both sides (Score:5, Interesting)

    by skydude_20 ( 307538 ) on Tuesday October 04, 2005 @10:08AM (#13712069) Journal
    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.

  • by dAzED1 ( 33635 ) on Tuesday October 04, 2005 @10:17AM (#13712185) Journal
    Reinquist, among many others, had never been a judge before serving on SCOTUS.
  • by Progman3K ( 515744 ) on Tuesday October 04, 2005 @10:20AM (#13712219)
    Isn't the idea to fill the supreme court with people who have a proven record of fighting in the interest of the people?

    How does she qualify? Because she saved a corporation lots of money?

    I hate to sound biased, but if that is here claim in deserving this job, then it truly IS a sad day for the American people.
  • Re:I Was Injured (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Pxtl ( 151020 ) on Tuesday October 04, 2005 @10:20AM (#13712222) Homepage
    This isn't about BSOD. This is worse. I think I remember this feature - some sort of "disk doubler" feature. Disk Doubler might've been a competing product to the actual MS version. Either way, it was a system that would somehow make your disks have far more space. I don't know if it was a more efficient FAT, or just automatically unzipping and zipping files for you or what, but a lot of people used it until their drives magically vanished. At that point you needed a format to fix the problem, iirc.

    I used it for a while, then heard stories from friends... plus, it sucked up some precious lower memory, making certain games unplayable. So I went through the excruciating process of converting all the drives back, finding the program still resident in memory, and then trying to track down how to prevent it from loading on boot.
  • by Doc Ruby ( 173196 ) on Tuesday October 04, 2005 @10:27AM (#13712298) Homepage Journal
    Moderation -2
        50% Flamebait
        50% Offtopic

    The hackwork of fascist TrollMods. I post the simple facts [slashdot.org] that indicted Republican lobbyist Abramoff worked at Bill Gates's fathers firm while making the connections that got him arrested last month. That those Republicans also released Microsoft from the Federal ruling that it's a monopoly. Without inflammatory language - though "the facts are clearly biased against the Bush administration" (to paraphrase _The Daily Show_).

    My post about the Microsoft/Republican lobbyist/government connection is undeniably on the topic of Bush's Supreme Court nominee's past Microsoft lawyering. And I have gotten no flames, just TrollMods suppressing my timely post. The article I linked to appears in a Linux journal! How much more relevant can that be? Of course it's relevant, and damaging (without any need for flames) or the rightwing TrollMods wouldn't be suppressing it. Who's surprised that they're leaping in to drown more reports of how their little club is both pervasively corrupt, and falling apart with every indictment?
  • by lseltzer ( 311306 ) on Tuesday October 04, 2005 @10:34AM (#13712384)
    IIRC, there wasn't really a bug in the disk compression; the issue was lazy writes. Users who, for example, shut the system down precipitously, might have had written data lost, but the same is true of any modern OS. I think all 6.2 did in this regard was to shut off lazy writes by default.

    You might remember that Infoworld ran a major page 1 review reporting that the compression had bugs that resulted in lost data, but in fact it was their faulty testing procedures that caused system resets without flushing the cache that was the cause of the lost data. Infoworld ran a page 1 correction not long thereafter, but that wouldn't stop trial lawyers from trying to form a class.
  • by KiltedKnight ( 171132 ) on Tuesday October 04, 2005 @10:36AM (#13712409) Homepage Journal
    Miers Gave to GOP Candidates, Democrats [washingtonpost.com]

    My guess is that Miers is not necessarily going to be as conservative as some people might think. In fact, she may turn out to be a bit more liberal than several prominent Republicans might like. Of course, like you said, you can never tell what a person is going to be like once they are confirmed and on the bench until they start deciding cases.

    And to follow on with your comment about David Souter, a Reagan apointee, Anthony Kennedy, once voted on a case a certain way because he felt it was the "conservative" way to vote. Then, having been tasked with writing the majority opinion, he realized what he was writing wasn't what he truly felt, and ended up changing his vote and swinging the case in the other direction.

    Ford never expected Justice Stevens to become as liberal as he is either.

  • Re:Well... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by DAldredge ( 2353 ) <SlashdotEmail@GMail.Com> on Tuesday October 04, 2005 @10:51AM (#13712606) Journal
    What again are the differences between in R's and the D's? :) Please state Actions, not Words.
  • by dtjohnson ( 102237 ) on Tuesday October 04, 2005 @10:56AM (#13712663)
    The new nominee seems completely unqualified for the job, whatever her past lawyering cases were, Microsoft or no. She's never even decided a traffic ticket case. How can she possibly be qualified to decide cases which will set legal precedents for the next umpty-ump years? There is an enormous difference between being a lawyer and being a judge. Her only qualifications for the job seem to be 1) friend of Bush, 2) lawyer, and 3) a woman. I think a supreme court justice should have more qualifications than those.
  • by Forbman ( 794277 ) on Tuesday October 04, 2005 @11:13AM (#13712855)
    Funny, though, here's a different case.

    My (former) 1991 MR-2T had a recall issued on the steering wheel because it was alleged that it was too stiff. Although it hadn't happened yet, it was feared that in a crash, an unrestrained driver's head could be seriously injured when his head hit the wheel (despite the airbag). It actually hadn't happened at that point.

    There are several recalls issued on different cars because of engineering defects that may not have actually manifested themselves at the time of the recall.

    Recall costs car makers (and dealers...) lots of $$$.

    So, yes, the group probably should have been kept as a class, if the OS were a car...

    As far as free software...and suing... It's hard to sue something that has been given away for free. There's that whole contractural obligation, lack of consideration, and the only thing holding it up is the license, which will clearly say, "this software is released as-is, and is not warranted for any use whatsoever". And then throw in, "it's a work-in-progress". Those phrases do have some legal weight to them.
  • by ageoffri ( 723674 ) on Tuesday October 04, 2005 @11:19AM (#13712927)
    I've seen a lot of Microsoft bashing here and even more Republican bashing, but this has to take the cake. The Senate needs to look at issues that apply to the Constitution.

    Does she respect the 2nd Amendment

    If yes then she is a very good nominee for the Supreme Court.

    Does she respect Wade vs. Roe?

    If no then I would have a problem with her being appointed.

    Since she wasn't a judge, I'd like to know how much she used precedence in arguing her cases.

    If she is very traditional in her use of precedence then that is a very good sign regardless if you are Conservative or Liberal

    Did she ever argue any Civil Rights cases?

    This is the most complex question I have. Without knowing how she argued these sorts of cases and the details of the cases I can't even begin to say what would be good or bad

    So I urge /.'ers to pull the rope down from the tree and give her a fair chance to be evaluated before you hang her for having been a lawyer on a Microsoft case.

  • mathematics degree (Score:5, Interesting)

    by PMuse ( 320639 ) on Tuesday October 04, 2005 @11:38AM (#13713131)
    One thing that differs about Miers from most of the court -- her undergraduate degree (mathematics).

    The others are Roberts (liberal arts), *O'Connor (economics), *Rehnquist (political science), Breyer (liberal arts, math, science), Ginsburg (government), Kennedy (liberal arts, economics), Scalia (history), Souter (liberal arts), Stevens (english literature), Thomas (seminary, english).
  • So... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by th3space ( 531154 ) <brad AT bradfucious DOT com> on Tuesday October 04, 2005 @12:46PM (#13713778) Homepage
    The most troubling thing about this is that she once represented Microsoft when she worked at a law firm? She represented Disney and a few other large corporations too, it's what lawyers are paid to do.

    Have we perhaps overlooked the fact that she was appointed by then Texas Governor Bush to head up the oft-maligned Texas Lottery Commission and dispatched two commissioners who happned to be democrats, one of whom claimed to be instrumental in getting Bush discharged from the Air National Guard? How about the fact that when running for Dallas City Council, she considered herself to be a reformed pro-choicer (aka: anti-choice) due to a born again situation? Or the fact that she lobbied the ABA to change its stance from pro-choice to nuetral or pro-life, only to rebuffed? Then she was the one who claimed that the ABA rankings weren't valid measures of performance and standing when trying to identify nominees for the appelate court?

    Don't be fooled here, she's a wolf in sheeps clothing...Dubbya's sleeping giant. He's trying to put through someone with no real paper trail so that he can establish his real legacy, shifting the opinion of the court to 'repair' the moral fiber of America. Being from Dallas, a city that she called home for a good long while, I've already heard a good deal from Texas republicans (which I, myself, used to be) about how she is more like Sandra Day O'Connor than people realize, and she'll fit that mold well, but I don't buy it. She won't play 'swing vote' in any form or fashion. I hope she gots blocked, and hard.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 04, 2005 @01:47PM (#13714361)
    Based on the fact that you so smoothly replaced the phrase "withhold information for personal gain" with "keep the discussion focused on the virtue of the product" you may well have a career in sales or law ahead for you, Mr. Geoff Walton.

    "Good" lawyers and salesmen often have the ability to suspend their own senses and experiences, to the point where they actually emotionally believe anything they hear coming out of their own mouths. An ordinary person can train themselves to do this -- repeating lies in front of a mirror, and visualizing them to the point where you believe them subconsciously, will allow you to pass a lie detector test and con your victims. Some lawyers and salesman are unable to NOT do that, and thus they cannot work at any other profession BUT law or sales.

    For example, you would not hire the salesman who "keeps the discussion focused on the virtues of the product" to be in charge of your IT department, in charge of purchasing, or to manage a restaurant. The person is likely not well suited to facing hard truths making unpleasant decisions; they are accustomed to "focusing on the virtues" and telling everyone they will be happy if they do X, regardless of the real world.

    Lawyers and salesman make unreliable judges. It's far better to pick for a judge someone who has run a mediocre legal practice because they keep firing clients who they disagree with. You don't want a judge who can argue warp their brian onto either side -- they tend to look outside the merits of the case, to anything from bribes to emotional sympathies to the presentation of the case in the media to pick what side to warp their brain to.

    I would rather Bush would pick people who were known as inflexible assholes, even if they tended more towards his politics than mine. The flexible types end up handing down rulings like this eminent domain travesty.
  • by Qzukk ( 229616 ) on Tuesday October 04, 2005 @01:52PM (#13714403) Journal
    Lies, damn lies, and statistics, all rolled up in one.

    First off, the poverty rate: Look at page 18 of this pdf. [census.gov] The highlights of increasing poverty for 2003-2004 are telling, but the "damned lies" comes in when you look at the government's own graph at the bottom of the page. After a peak in 1993 or so, the official poverty rate declined until you reach 2000, where it began climbing again. While it's tempting to claim the .com boom caused all of this, I would suspect that 1) the people clawing their way out of poverty were not the dotcommers and 2) and even if some rags-to-riches, or even rags-to-not-poor stories did occur in the tech world, that they didn't account for the nearly 10 million person decline in poor people in the Clinton era.

    I have no idea where O'Reilly pulled those poverty numbers, but he can go ahead and stick them right back.

    The funny thing is, I've never seen the words "poverty entitlements" used to describe aid to the poor before, and with it being 12-14 percent of the budget, it has to have appeared even on those simplistic pie charts showing where my dollar goes.

    So what makes up this "poverty entitlement" that is sucking up an "record shattering" portion of our budget? The only thing I can get from googling for it is blogs from even more pundits claiming that this demonstrates that the conservatives do have some compassion after all. No line items match on the 2006 budget propsal [whitehouse.gov], so if you've got something else that adds up to 368 billion dollars, let us know.
  • by Alex P Keaton in da ( 882660 ) on Tuesday October 04, 2005 @01:56PM (#13714458) Homepage
    Ok my friend, I may not agree with you, but I read your comment and saw your point, until There is probably enough 'bad' about Bush for the UN to put the son of a bitch in jail.
    Are you trying to be funny? The UN putting an American in jail? Uh... never, ever gonna happen. And I am not talking about how the UN is corrupt, how despots are on the human rights commission-
    There is no chance of the UN ever having the autority to put an American President in jail. None.
    And for all your ranting about Bush- saying the UN could put him in jail paints you as a one world gov't type- which makes you a nut.
    There is probably enough 'bad' about Bush for the UN to put the son of a bitch in jail. I spend a lot of time on slashdot reading comments, but yours is the most ridiculous I have ever read. And the fact that it is modded +5 insightful tells everyone everything that need to know about modding on slashdot. An off topic, anti Bush, nonsensical rant gets a +5 insightful. Amazing.
    Say it with me- if the UN ever came to arrest an American President, after we stopped laughing, the UN would get its ass kicked.
  • by falconwolf ( 725481 ) <falconsoaring_2000NO@SPAMyahoo.com> on Tuesday October 04, 2005 @10:03PM (#13718964)

    She is nominated for one purpose and one purpose only - to pack the Supreme Court with pro-Bush justices so that when he is indicted by the Plame outing prosecutor for criminal conspiracy, he will have some people on the bench to keep him from being sent to prison.

    Neither Bush nor any other president needs to pack the Spureme Court in case he's indicted and convicted, it's within then president Cheney's power to pardon him much as Ford did for Nixon. Now I'm not saying there isn't a "reason" for Bush to pack the court but this isn't it.


The party adjourned to a hot tub, yes. Fully clothed, I might add. -- IBM employee, testifying in California State Supreme Court