Bush Nominates Miers for Supreme Court
President Bush nominated White House Counsel Harriet Miers to the U.S. Supreme Court Monday to fill the vacancy of retiring Justice Sandra Day O’Connor.
Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) praised Miers for her willingness to work with Congress as well as her legal background, but stopped short of an outright endorsement of the nomination.
“I look forward to the Judiciary Committee process which will help the American people learn more about Harriet Miers, and help the Senate determine whether she deserves a lifetime seat on the Supreme Court,” Reid said.
Unlike John Roberts, who served two years on the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia before his recent elevation to chief justice of the United States, Miers has never served as a judge.
Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) said it is imperative for the White House to release “documents and information relating to Ms. Miers’ service in the White House during both terms of the George W. Bush presidential administration and for Mr. Bush during his terms as Governor of the State of Texas,” to the Judiciary Committee so that Senators are able to better understand her legal thinking.
“The record we have so far is simply insufficient to assess the qualifications of this nominee,” Kennedy said. “While her résumé lists impressive qualifications as a practicing attorney, it simply does not give the Senate —or the public — sufficient information to determine her qualifications to be a Supreme Court justice and her commitment to core constitutional values.”
In announcing Miers nomination, Bush noted that she broke the glass ceiling in the Texas legal world by becoming the first woman hired at a major Dallas law firm, and the first woman chosen to be president of the the State Bar of Texas. He also suggested that Miers will not try to legislate from the bench, the main concern of many Democrats as Bush seeks to put his stamp on the nation’s highest court.
“Harriet Miers will strictly interpret our Constitution and laws,” Bush said at the Oval Office announcement. “She will not legislate from the bench. I ask the Senate to review her qualifications thoroughly and fairly, and to vote on her nomination promptly.”
So far, the Judiciary Committee has not released a hearing schedule for consideration of her nomination.
Republicans lavished praise on Miers and called on the Senate to hold an up-or-down vote on her nomination.
“President Bush has made a wise choice in his nomination of Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court,” said Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas).
While Miers is a trusted adviser to Bush, she has a history of making campaign contributions to both Republicans and Democrats. In addition to donating to Bush’s campaigns in 2000 and 2004, as well as to several Texas Republican lawmakers, Miers also contributed to former Sen. Al Gore’s (D-Tenn.) 1988 presidential bid, former Sen. Lloyd Bentsen (D-Texas) and the Democratic National Committee, according to politicalmoneyline.com.