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Bush Nominates Harriet Miers to U.S. Supreme Court

Bush Nominates Harriet Miers to U.S. Supreme Court

Nominee has record of "fairness and integrity," president says

By Alexandra Abboud
Washington File Staff Writer

Washington -- President Bush on October 3 named Harriet E. Miers, a White House lawyer, to be an associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court.

“For the past five years, Harriet Miers has served in critical roles in our nation's government, including one of the most important legal positions in the country, White House Counsel,” said Bush from the oval office October 3. “She has devoted her life to the rule of law and the cause of justice.”

If confirmed, Miers would be the third woman to serve on the highest court in the United States. Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, whom Miers would replace if confirmed, was the first woman appointed to the Supreme Court under President Ronald Reagan in 1981. O’Connor was joined by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, President Bill Clinton’s pick in 1993. O’Connor announced July 1 she would retire from the court.

Unlike O’Connor and Ginsburg, Miers is not a judge, but that is not a requirement to be a U.S. Supreme Court justice. Several justices have been governors or held other non-judicial positions before joining the court.

Bush’s selection of Miers is the second time a U.S. president has selected his personal counsel to be a Supreme Court justice: in 1965, Lyndon Johnson nominated Abe Fortas to the post.

Miers said that if confirmed, she would work to ensure that U.S. courts strictly apply the law and the U.S. Constitution to all issues that are decided.

“The wisdom of those who drafted our constitution and conceived our nation as functioning with three strong and independent branches [has] proven truly remarkable,” she said. “It is the responsibility of every generation to be true to the founders' vision of the proper role of the courts in our society.”

Miers' nomination came just before the start of the 2005-2006 Supreme Court term, during which the justices are expected to hear about 48 cases on issues including campaign finance and free speech. The court will begin its new term with John Roberts, who was confirmed by the Senate on September 29, as chief justice of the United States.

A transcript of Bush’s remarks on the nomination of Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court and her biography are available on the White House Web site.

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