What a relief. Sad, pensive, what-a-waste relief. Not happy-joy-joy relief.
First Breitbart/AP dispatch 858am EDT:
Harriet Miers withdrew her nomination to be a Supreme Court justice Thursday in the face of stiff opposition and mounting criticism about her qualifications.
Exit strategy hinged on refusal to release privileged White House documents. (Ed Morrissey and Charles Krauthammer called it.) Whatever. We know the real reasons. Now, onto a candidate that conservatives can be proud of, okay?
National Review Online has a PDF of Miers’ letter requesting to withdraw.
AP reporting that Miers submitted her letter last night at 830pm EDT.
President’s full statement (thanks to SCOTUS blog):
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.
Sen. Trent Lott on Fox News this morning: “Who will remember the name Harriet Miers in a month?”
Confirm Them notes: “MSNBC just reported that a White House source is saying that a Republican member of the Judiciary Committee called the White House last night and suggested that Miers withdraw.”
Bill Frist reacts (via WaPo SCOTUS blog).
Red State’s Mike Krempasky: “Ok everyone – back to the barracks, let’s get ready to get behind a nominee we can support.”
Ed Morrissey: “Now can we nominate a candidate whose qualities and track record presumes we control the Senate?”
Scott Ott has already fired off a spoof: “Miers Withdraws to ‘Spend More Time with Humans'”
Bulldogpundit at ABP: “It’s time to move on from the internal squabbles about her nomination. We’ll see quickly enough if the President has learned his lessons from this error and nominates a supremely qualified (and properly vetted) conservative jurist in the mold of Scalia and Thomas, as he promised in 2000 and 2004. I trust that he will.”
Jonah Goldberg: NO GONZALES. That is my only advice to Bush right now. No Gonzales, a thousand times no Gonzales.
Patterico is off the ledge.
Howard Bashman highlights PFAW’s crowing.
I think Ms. Miers has been unfairly treated by many who have for years urged fair treatment of judicial nominees.
She deserves great thanks for her significant service to the country. She and the president deserved much better from his allies.
President’s allies deserved–and deserve–better from him. We’ll see if he delivers.
Emily Zanotti is apprehensive.
Jim Hoft has video of Washington reax.
Tom Bevan at the Real Clear Politics blog:
One interpretation of the Miers withdrawal is that the President realized (or was informed by GOP Senators) that she didn’t have a chance of being confirmed. A more speculative interpretation of the timing of the withdrawal is that the President knows there are indictments coming down tomorrow and needs to have his base support consolidated. He can use news of a new appointment to deflect attention from any possible bad news from the Fitzgerald investigation.
Indictments or not, expect Bush to nominate someone who will immediately set off a firestorm from liberal special interest groups and provoke a major battle on the hill that will get his administration off the defensive.
La Shawn Barber is not optimistic about the next pick.
Laura Lee Donoho is also worried about weak-kneed Republicans in the Senate.
John Hawkins is happy.
Stephen Bainbridge Treoblogs his reax.
Orin Kerr: McConnell or Williams.
Mitch Berg has advice for the president.
10/3 Utterly underwhelmed
10/4 Harry’s gal
10/11 Laura Ingraham on Miers
10/20 The trouble with Harriet
10/27 The clock is ticking…