Under increasing pressure to release White House documents and a conservative attack campaign being launched against her, Harriet Miers withdrew her nomination to the Supreme Court today. The progressive forces had held their fire but were proceeding with a strategy to ensure that the Senate Judiciary Committee would ask penetrating questions on Miers judicial philosophy and track record.
The public, on all sides of the political spectrum, was demanding more information on her judicial philosophy and her performance within the White House. “The days of the blank slate strategy for stacking the Supreme Court are over,” said Eleanor Smeal, president of the Feminist Majority.
Right wing attacks on Miers have increased steadily as everyone has struggled to find information to help to define Miers’ judicial philosophy. With no judicial history to review and the White House refusing to release documents on her work in the Administration, the confirmation hearings scheduled to begin on November 7 were looming as a critical test for Miers. Also citing the pressure from the right to withdraw Miers’ nomination, the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights (LCCR) issued a statement that the “Miers’ nomination was doomed by two factors: the far right’s tar-and-feather tactics and the White House’s refusal to provide information that would have illuminated her views.”
Critical of the right wing demands for a nominee who would vote to implement their political agenda, NOW President Kim Gandy said, “The real reason Bush’s right wing base demanded her withdrawal was the lack of an iron-clad guarantee (which they had with John Roberts) that Miers would be a solid vote to overturn longstanding precedents like Roe and Griswold, and uphold abortion restrictions enacted under this administration. That cannot be the standard for nominations.”