Washington -- President
Bush on October 3 named Harriet E. Miers, a White House
lawyer, to be an associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court.
George W. Bush nominates White House Counsel
Harriet Miers as Supreme Court Justice
during a statement from the Oval Office
on Monday October 3, 2005. (White
House photo by Paul Morse)
“For the past five years, Harriet
Miers has served in critical roles in our nation's government,
including one of the most important legal positions in the
country, White House Counsel,” said Bush from the
oval office October 3. “She has devoted her life to
the rule of law and the cause of justice.”
If confirmed, Miers would be the third woman
to serve on the highest court in the United States. Justice
Sandra Day O’Connor, whom Miers would replace if confirmed,
was the first woman appointed to the Supreme Court under
President Ronald Reagan in 1981. O’Connor was joined
by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, President Bill Clinton’s
pick in 1993. O’Connor announced July 1 she would
retire from the court.
Unlike O’Connor and Ginsburg, Miers
is not a judge, but that is not a requirement to be a U.S.
Supreme Court justice. Several justices have been governors
or held other non-judicial positions before joining the
Bush’s selection of Miers is the second
time a U.S. president has selected his personal counsul
to be a Supreme Court justice: in 1965, Lyndon Johnson nominated
Abe Fortas to the post.
Miers said that if confirmed, she would
work to ensure that U.S. courts strictly apply the law and
the U.S. Constitution to all issues that are decided.
“The wisdom of those who drafted our
constitution and conceived our nation as functioning with
three strong and independent branches [has] proven truly
remarkable,” she said. “It is the responsibility
of every generation to be true to the founders' vision of
the proper role of the courts in our society.”
Miers' nomination came just before the start
of the 2005-2006 Supreme Court term, during which the justices
are expected to hear about 48 cases on issues including
campaign finance and free speech. The court will begin its
new term with John Roberts, who was confirmed by the Senate
on September 29, as chief justice of the United States.
(See related article.)
of Bush’s remarks on the nomination of Harriet Miers
to the Supreme Court and her biography
is available on the White House Web site.
For additional information, see The
Supreme Court of the United States: Highest Court in the
Washington File Staff Writer