Miers Withdraws Supreme Court Nomination
Harriet Miers withdrew her nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court this morning.
NBC’s chief legal correspondent, Pete Williams, said the move was exceptional, noting that only seven of 150 nominations have been withdrawn in the history of the court.
Miers had been expected to respond today to a new set of questions from senators after her first responses were criticized by Senate Judiciary chairman Arlen Specter (R-PA), and senior Democrat Patrick Leahy of Vermont. Various members found her answers to the first questionnaire to be "inadequate," "insufficient" and "insulting."
The committee had scheduled Nov. 7 confirmation hearings for her, but Specter and Leahy said Miers’ answers to their original questions were “incomplete” and “insufficient,” one of several setbacks Miers faced over her nomination to replace retiring Justice Sandra Day O’Connor.
Miers has been criticized by some conservatives for not having a record of conservative judicial philosophy on issues like abortion and affirmative action. At the same time, some had questioned an aggressive White House strategy to win over religious right leaders.
While none of the Senate’s 55 Republicans had announced opposition to her, a number of Senators, including Sam Brownback (R-KS), Trent Lott (R-MS) and Rick Santorum (R-PA), had withheld endorsements, with Brownback suggesting he was leaning against voting for her.
Meanwhile, groups like Concerned Women of America had called for her withdrawal.