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."
Taegan D. Goddard is the founder of Political Wire, one of the earliest and most influential political web sites.
Goddard spent more than a decade as managing director and chief operating officer of a prominent investment firm in New York City. Previously, he was a policy adviser to a U.S. Senator and Governor.
Goddard is also co-author of You
Won - Now What? (Scribner, 1998), a political
management book hailed by prominent journalists and politicians from
both parties. In addition, Goddard's essays on politics and public
policy have appeared in dozens of newspapers across the country,
including the Washington Post, USA Today, Boston Globe, San Francisco
Chronicle, Chicago Tribune, Philadelphia Inquirer and Christian Science
Goddard earned degrees from Vassar College and Harvard University. He lives in New York with his wife and three sons.
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