“The election of a Democratic president and a Democratic Congress in November will be more than the normal alteration of power between two major parties in a mature democracy. It will be deliverance.
Democratic voters will want Congress to support, not check, the president whose election victory ends the nightmare of the Trump presidency. There will be little political reward for congressional Democrats to enact legislation to harden democratic institutions against future abuses of presidential power.
But that is exactly when Congress must enact reforms. Trump himself may be an aberration, but we cannot assume that the abuse of presidential power is. It is now rightist dogma that the Constitution vests broad and “illimitable” power in the president. A smarter, more disciplined, less brazen future president may be even more of a threat to democracy. The day could come when Democrats in Congress will regret failure to enact reforms while they had the chance.”
Miller, Brad. Preventing the Next Trump. The post-Trump paradox: We need a strong president to use the office for the public good—but not an abusive president. American Prospect. February 6, 2020. https://prospect.org/politics/preventing-the-next-trump/.
Brad Miller represented North Carolina’s 13 th congressional district in the United States House of Representatives from 2003-2013. Prior to that, he served in the North Carolina House of Representatives from 1993-1994 and North Carolina Senate from 1997-2002. He returned to private legal practice in 2013 after leaving Congress and is now Of Counsel to Guttman, Buschner & Brooks PLLC. Mr. Miller has served as a Congressional Fellow at Good Government Now since June 2019.
He is a distinguished expert on congressional oversight and investigations, financial regulation and reform, environmental issues, and health. He was the principal author of an amicus curiae brief on behalf of Members of Congress to oppose President Trump’s pardon of Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio for criminal contempt of court as an unconstitutional encroachment against the inherent contempt authority of the judicial branch. Mr. Miller also authored the “Special Criminal Contempt of Congress Procedures Act of 2009” which sought to ensure that criminal contempt of Congress citations would be prosecuted by a court-appointed special counsel if the Department of Justice failed to do so itself as requied by law.
As chairman of the Investigations and Oversight Subcommittee of the House Science Committee, Brad led investigations into the health effects of environmental exposures, including the contamination by formaldehyde of trailers that FEMA provided families displaced by Hurricane Katrina; the contamination by lead of drinking water in Washington, D.C. and other major cities; and the contamination by toxic chemicals of drinking water to which a million Marines and their family members were exposed at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina over a thirty-year period.
Mr. Miller has frequently been quoted in national publications on a variety of issues, especially financial reform and the foreclosure crisis, and has been interviewed on almost every cable news channel, including MSNBC, CNN, Fox News, Fox Business, CNBC, and Bloomberg. He has frequently published opinion articles in national publications, including The Wall Street Journal, New Republic, Politico, Roll Call, The Hill, American Banker, Bloomberg View, Huffington Post, Salon, and Verdict.
Mr. Miller was the principal author of an amicus curiae brief on behalf of Members of Congress to oppose an industry legal challenge to the international enforcement of rules adopted by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission under the Dodd-Frank Act. He has also frequently testified before Congress, and was a witness on financial reform before the 2016 Democratic Party Platform Committee.
The Nation magazine said that Mr. Miller was “among the strongest advocates of financial reform on Capitol Hill until his retirement” from Congress. “Miller’s fingerprints are on many of [the reforms of the Dodd-Frank Act]” The Nation said:
He proposed in committee the creation of the independent agency that became the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and shepherded it through the House; worked with then-FDIC chair Sheila Bair to toughen the “living will” provision of Dodd-Frank, which requires banks to create plans for their own dissolution; and introduced an amendment to restrict the risky, speculative trading undertaken by banks, a limit now known as the Volcker Rule.
Mr. Miller introduced legislation to require tougher restrictions on subprime mortgages in 2004, in his first term in Congress. “Look, if people listened to Brad five years ago,” Barney Frank said in 2009, “we wouldn’t have had a terrible sub-prime crisis.” New York Times columnist Gretchen Morgenson wrote in 2010 that Brad “talks straight and understands how big banks put consumers at peril.” “Depending on your perspective, Mr. Miller is either the right man in the right place on Capitol Hill—if you’re a consumer—or a threat to the status quo,” Morgenson said.
Senator Elizabeth Warren called Brad Miller “a real hero to struggling families.”
Before he was elected to Congress, Brad served in the North Carolina legislature for eight years and practiced law in North Carolina for 20 years. He was rated “AV,” the highest rating, by Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review. He drafted pleadings, took and defended depositions, wrote briefs, and tried cases. He argued issues before the North Carolina appellate courts as diverse as will interpretation, sterilization of severely developmentally disabled adults, public employees’ constitutional right against self-incrimination in internal investigations, priority of security interests in fixtures, and coverage of environmental damage under general liability insurance policies.
Brad earned his law degree from Columbia University, a master’s degree from the London School of Economics, and his bachelor’s degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He was designated a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar for distinction in scholarship for each of his three years of law school. After graduation from law school, Brad served for one year as law clerk to Judge J. Dickson Phillips, Jr. of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.