Former Trump White House aide Stephen Miller makes his living these days filing culture-war lawsuits. He is not a lawyer.
Permit me some dime-store psychologizing. Lawsuits feel like home to Stephen Miller. According to his biographer Jean Guerrero (Hatemonger: Stephen Miller, Donald Trump, and the White Nationalist Agenda), Miller’s teenage radicalization coincided with his father, Michael D. Miller, getting embroiled in a series of legal disputes, including one against Michael’s own brother (alleging he’d deceived investors in their real estate company) and another against the law firm where Michael had been partner but got kicked out. The cost of dad’s lawsuits, combined with setbacks to the real estate company due to earthquake damage, compelled the family to move to a smaller house in Santa Monica. The stuff not of tragedy, obviously, but perhaps some discontent.
In the end, Stephen did not inherit Michael Miller’s liberal politics, but it looks like he inherited dad’s litigiousness. After leaving the Trump White House, Stephen created a legal nonprofit, America First Legal, even though he is not himself a lawyer. The nonprofit, which harvests (and sometimes manufactures) culture-war controversies, is a little short on tangible victories. But it isn’t clear that victory is what Miller fils is after. America First Legal is the subject of my latest New Republic piece. You can read it here.