White House Counsel Harriet Miers withdrew today as a nominee to replace Sandra Day O’Connor on the U.S. Supreme Court. Miers and President Bush cited their concern with the requests of members of the Senate Judiciary Committee for documents dealing with her work that the administration has chosen to withhold as privileged, the Washington Post reports.
The nomination was in deep trouble, with little support in the Senate, open criticism from many senators of both parties, and an outpouring of opposition from conservative activists and intellectuals. Columnist Charles Krauthammer, had proposed using the documents dispute as a face-saving reason for withdrawal. The last high court nominee to withdraw was Douglas H. Ginsburg, nominated by President Ronald Reagan in 1987, who pulled out after revealing that he had used marijuana. Three nominees have been rejected by the Senate in modern times. Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nv.), who supported Miers, called the withdrawal a victory for “the radical right wing” of the Republican Party.