Bush Nominates Miers as Supreme Court Justice; Positions on Issues Unknown
President Bush on Monday nominated White House counsel Harriet Miers to replace retiring Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, the New York Times reports (Williams, New York Times, 10/3). Bush first nominated Judge John Roberts in July to replace O'Connor, but later nominated him to be chief justice after Chief Justice William Rehnquist died of thyroid cancer on Sept. 3. The Senate last week approved the nomination of Roberts as the court's 17th chief justice, and he was sworn by Justice John Paul Stevens (California Healthline, 9/30).
Miers, who was the first woman to serve as president of the State Bar of Texas and the Dallas Bar Association, has never been a judge and therefore has no judicial record, the AP/Minneapolis Star Tribune reports (Riechmann, AP/Minneapolis Star Tribune, 10/3). Her lack of "a long history of judicial rulings" makes her positions on "ideologically charged issues" such as abortion unclear, according to the New York Times (New York Times, 10/3).
Noel Francisco, former assistant White House counsel and deputy assistant attorney general during the Bush administration, said that in nominating Miers, the president has "reaffirmed his commitment to appointing judges who will respect the rule of law and not legislate from the bench" (AP/Minneapolis Star Tribune, 10/3). O'Connor has agreed to remain on the court until her successor is confirmed (California Healthline, 9/30).