News Intelligence Analysis






Miers withdraws Supreme Court nomination
Conservative Republicans were among those with concerns

The Associated Press
Updated: 9:06 a.m. ET Oct. 27, 2005


WASHINGTON - Confronted with criticism from both the left and right, Harriet Miers on Thursday withdrew her nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court.

In a statement, President Bush said he “reluctantly accepted” her decision to withdraw, after weeks of insisting that he did not want her to step down.

Bush 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.

“My responsibility to fill this vacancy remains,” he added. “I will do so in a timely manner.”

NBC’s chief legal correspondent, Pete Williams, said the move was exceptional, noting that only seven of 150 nominations have been withdrawn in the history of the court.

Miers had been expected to respond to a new set of questions from senators after her first responses were criticized by Senate Judiciary chairman Arlen Specter, R-Pa., and senior Democrat Patrick Leahy of Vermont.

The committee had scheduled Nov. 7 confirmation hearings for her, but Specter and Leahy said Miers’ answers to their original questions were “incomplete” and “insufficient,” one of several setbacks Miers has faced over her nomination to replace retiring Justice Sandra Day O’Connor.

Since being named less than a month ago to replace Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, Miers has been criticized by some conservatives for not having a record of conservative judicial philosophy on issues like abortion and affirmative action.

While none of the Senate’s 55 Republicans had announced opposition to her, several groups like Concerned Women of America are calling for her withdrawal.

“We believe that far better qualified candidates were overlooked and that Miss Miers’ record fails to answer our questions about her qualifications and constitutional philosophy,” said Jan LaRue, the conservative group’s chief counsel.


© 2005 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
© 2005



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