Harriet Miers Officially Becomes A Question For “Trivial Pursuit – The 2000 Decade” Edition

Ken AshfordSupreme CourtLeave a Comment

Animated_candleYup.  She withdrew her nomination, and Bush "reluctantly accepted".

Still no post about it on Harriet Miers’ blog, but I’ll update here when she updates her blog.

For progressives like me, this is nothing to celebrate (the celebration comes later today when Fitzgerald announced indictments).  I have a sinking feeling that the next Bush nominee will be something awful – like Owens or Brown.

UPDATE:  Harriet Mier’s blog has now acknowledged the withdrawal.  The once-festive pink and white website is now a stark black, and adorned with a burning candle graphic (which I stole).  Harriet is waxing poetical, with such ruminations as:

"Its better to have been nominated and withdrawn then never to have been nominated at all"

and a poem sent in by a reader:

And it seems to me you lived your nomination
Like a candle in the wind:
Never fading with the sunset
When the rain set in.

Goodbye Texas Rose,
From a country lost without your soul,
Who’ll miss the wings of your compassion
More than you’ll ever know.

Poor baby.

UPDATE:  The text of Mier’s withdrawal letter, and some additional comments from me, are below the fold.

Harriet’s withdrawal letter:

Dear Mr. President:

I write to withdraw as a nominee to serve as an Associate Justice on the Supreme Court of the United States. I have been greatly honored and humbled by the confidence that you have shown in me, and have appreciated immensely your support and the support of many others. However, I am concerned that the confirmation process presents a burden for the White House and our staff that is not in the best interest of the country.

As you know, members of the Senate have indicated their intention to seek documents about my service in the White House in order to judge whether to support me. I have been informed repeatedly that in lieu of records, I would be expected to testify about my service in the White House to demonstrate my experience and judicial philosophy. While I believe that my lengthy career provides sufficient evidence for consideration of my nomination, I am convinced the efforts to obtain Executive Branch materials and information will continue.

As I stated in my acceptance remarks in the Oval Office, the strength and independence of our three branches of government are critical to the continued success of this great Nation. Repeatedly in the course of the process of confirmation for nominees for other position, I have steadfastly maintained that the independence of the Executive Branch be preserved and its confidential documents and information not be released to further a confirmation process. I feel compelled to adhere to this position, especially related to my own nomination. Protection of the prerogatives of the Executive Branch and continued pursuit of my confirmation are in tension. I have decided that seeking my confirmation should yield.

I share your commitment to appointing judges with a conservative judicial philosophy, and I look forward to continuing to support your efforts to provide the American people judges who will interpret the law, not make it. I am most grateful for the opportunity to have served your Administration and this country.

Most Respectfully,

Harriet Ellan Miers

I am struck by the middle portion.  She seems to be saying that she is withdrawing because the Senate wants to know about her advice to the President.  You know, like its their fault for actually wanting to understand the "cipher" that Bush nominated.

I am getting frustrated with this "executive privilege" bullshit.  What is so wrong with the American people knowing the advice that President is given?  What exactly is the downside of this?  I can understand that we don’t want to reveal matters of national security and so on, but all we are talking about (aren’t we?) is simply political advice given to our leader.  In an open government, shouldn’t we have an inkling of what that advice is, from time to time?

And shouldn’t we, as Americans, be somewhat insulted by this pervasive sense in the White House that the American people can’t be trusted with this sort of information?  It seems to me that the occupants of the White House lack the understanding that they are servants of the people, and not the reverse.