Miers Withdraws

Breaking News

Harriet E. Miers withdrew her nomination for the Supreme Court this morning after her selection by President Bush led to criticism from conservatives and liberals and opposition to her appointment began to grow more intense.

In recent days, several prominent members of the Republican Party had begun to publicly question Ms. Miers's nomination, suggesting that she was not conservative enough on issues like abortion. Others, including both Republicans and Democrats, have questioned Ms. Miers's lack of judicial experience since her nomination was announced by President Bush on Oct. 3. Democratic senators had also sought White House documents from Ms. Miers, who is the White House counsel, that might have given clues to her judicial philosophy.

From the Wa Po account:

Bush is"deeply disappointed in the process," McClellan said. Miers will remain as White House counsel and will be involved in choosing a new court nominee, he added.

The decision marked the end of one of the most contentious Supreme Court nominations in recent years, following on controversies over the naming of Clarence Thomas and Robert Bork. Thomas was approved by the Senate in 1991 after a bitter confirmation hearing and Bork was defeated in 1987. A major political difference between the Bork and Miers nominations is that Bork was championed by a powerful wing of the GOP, while Miers appeared to have only one truly enthusiastic supporter, the president.

The last person to withdraw as a Supreme Court nominee was Douglas H. Ginsburg, nominated by President Ronald Reagan in 1987. Ginsburg pulled out after revealing that he had used marijuana. Three nominees have been rejected by the Senate in modern times, including Bork.

Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.), the Senate minority leader who supported Miers, called the withdrawal a victory for"the radical right wing" of the Republican Party.

Read entire article at NYT

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James Spence - 10/27/2005

Not a surprising development. Where were his minders when he made his decision?