Three weeks after President Bush nominated her to the Supreme Court, Harriet Miers has withdrawn her nomination. Miers had faced skepticism about her qualifications, and in recent weeks conservative groups mounted a campaign against her, saying she was not the strong conservative candidate they wanted.
Thursday morning, in a brief statement from the White House, President Bush announced that he had accepted Miers' resignation. The president's statement:
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.