Thursday, October 27, 2005

Miers Withdraws Supreme Court Nomination

The AP reports that Harriet Miers has withdrawn her name from consideration for the Supreme Court.

WASHINGTON -- Harriet Miers withdrew her nomination to be a Supreme Court justice Thursday in the face of stiff opposition and mounting criticism about her qualifications.

President Bush said he reluctantly accepted her decision to withdraw, after weeks of insisting that he did not want her to step down. He blamed her withdrawal on calls in the Senate for the release of internal White House documents that the administration has insisted were protected by executive privilege.

"It is clear that senators would not be satisfied until they gained access to internal documents concerning advice provided during her tenure at the White House -- disclosures that would undermine a president's ability to receive candid counsel," Bush said. "Harriet Miers' decision demonstrates her deep respect for this essential aspect of the constitutional separation of powers -- and confirms my deep respect and admiration for her."

Miers' surprise withdrawal stunned Washington on a day when the capital was awaiting news on another front -- the possible indictment of senior White House aides in the CIA leak case.

Miers told the president she was withdrawing at 8:30 p.m. Wednesday. In her letter dated Thursday, Miers said she was concerned that the confirmation process "would create a burden for the White House and our staff that is not in the best interest of the country."

She noted that members of the Senate had indicated their intention to seek documents about her service in the White House in order to judge whether to support her nomination to the Supreme Court. "I have been informed repeatedly that in lieu of records, I would be expected to testify about my service in the White House to demonstrate my experience and judicial philosophy," she wrote.

"While I believe that my lengthy career provides sufficient evidence for consideration of my nomination, I am convinced the efforts to obtain Executive Branch materials and information will continue."
--------------------------
    STATEMENT BY THE PRESIDENT
    Today, I have reluctantly accepted Harriet Miers'
    decision to withdraw her nomination to the Supreme
    Court of the United States.

   

    I nominated Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court because
    of her extraordinary legal experience, her character,
    and her conservative judicial philosophy. Throughout
    her career, she has gained the respect and admiration
    of her fellow attorneys. She has earned a reputation
    for fairness and total integrity. She has been a
    leader and a pioneer in the American legal profession.
    She has worked in important positions in state and
    local government and in the bar. And for the last
    five years, she has served with distinction and honor
    in critical positions in the Executive Branch.

   

    I understand and share her concern, however, about the
    current state of the Supreme Court confirmation
    process. It is clear that Senators would not be
    satisfied until they gained access to internal
    documents concerning advice provided during her tenure
    at the White House - disclosures that would undermine
    a President's ability to receive candid counsel.
    Harriet Miers' decision demonstrates her deep respect
    for this essential aspect of the Constitutional
    separation of powers - and confirms my deep respect
    and admiration for her.

   

    I am grateful for Harriet Miers' friendship and
  devotion to our country. And I am honored that she
    will continue to serve our Nation as White House
    Counsel.

   

    My responsibility to fill this vacancy remains. I
  will do so in a timely manner.


Ed:  So much for the President's right to name Justices so long as their moral character is not at issue. 

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