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.
Bottom line: anyone who President Bush nominates will provoke a fight by the Democrats and the interest groups (like Moveon.org) that fund them. It's time that the Bush Administration stopped playing defense and nominate conservative judges like Luttig. Doing so will energize the conservative base in advance of next year's midterm elections.
UPDATE #1: Kimsch of Musing Minds has compiled an impressive list of blogger reaction to the Miers' withdrawal - including a link to this post. Thanks, Kimsch!
UPDATE #2: Jayson of PoliPundit has opened a thread devoted to possible contenders for the open SCOTUS judgeship. Now watch the President select a candidate who *isn't* on someone's wish list.