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October 24, 2005

Bush Lays Groundwork for Miers to Back Out

As our insider source told us over the weekend, Republican senators on the Judiciary committee do not want to confirm Harriet Miers to the U.S. Supreme Court. Today, President Bush gave them their way out.

The Los Angeles Times reports that Republican senators have joined Democrats in asking for the White House "to release documents relating to" Miers' "service as White House counsel, with some warning that she might not win confirmation otherwise." One of them, Sen. Sam Brownback (R-KS) is a consistent Bush ally.

This afternoon, CNN notes President Bush refused the Senate request, saying "It's a red line I'm not willing to cross." Bush insisted that complying with such requests "would make it impossible for me and other presidents to be able to make sound decisions."

Now, the White House can withdraw the nomination over principle and not out of political necessity. They may still wait to see if the circumstances change in the coming days, but they've given themselves a way to at least partially save face.

Update: The Wall Street Journal says opposition to Miers "intensified as a conservative coalition launched a campaign to force her withdrawal from consideration."


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