HARRIET MIERS WITHDRAWS
Maybe Miers finally realized she was facing a huge uphill battle. Maybe the Bush administration didn't prep people on the Hill early enough about her background and positions? Or maybe Miers didn't disclose enough on her views to make Republicans confident in her nomination? Or maybe most people just didn't see her as Supreme Court material?
Under withering attack from conservatives, President George W. Bush ended his push Thursday to put loyalist Harriet Miers on the Supreme Court and promised a quick replacement. Democrats accused him of bowing to the "radical right wing of the Republican Party."
The White House said Miers had withdrawn her name because of a bipartisan effort in Congress to gain access to internal documents related to her role as counsel to the president. But politics played a larger role: Bush's conservative backers had doubts about her ideological purity, and Democrats had little incentive to help the nominee or the embattled Republican president.
The withdrawal stunned Washington on a day when the capital was awaiting potential bad news for the administration on other fronts, including the possible indictments of senior White House aides in the CIA leak case. Earlier in the week, the U.S. military death toll in Iraq surpassed 2,000
Bush said he reluctantly accepted Miers' decision to withdraw, after weeks of insisting that he did not want her to step down.
"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." (full article)