Friday, October 07, 2005

Another Headache for Harriett

Supreme Court nominee Harriett Miers, already under attack from some conservative sources as well as having a number of expected liberal objections, was cited today in a Senate report for allowing during her watch as head of a Dallas law firm a number of questionable legal opinions on tax shelters. Although Locke, Liddell and Sapp gave legal opinions that the shelter, a contingent deferred swap, would stand muster with the IRS, a lawyer of a client of cohort Ernst and Young claimed that the swap was "a classic sham tax shelter." This lawyer also wrote that the Locke legal opinion was based on outdated case law and failed to address the major facts of the transaction. Additionally, the lawyer claimed that the transaction had little economic significance except for tax benefits provided.

Without knowing the name and credentials of the lawyer making the assertions, it is hard to know whether these claims have merit. Nevertheless, given all the criticism that has gone her way already, this is not a good sign for her nomination.


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