Reaction to Miers' Withdrawal

By: Summer Knowles
By: Summer Knowles

October 27, 2005

It's back to the drawing board for President Bush, this after his Supreme Court Nominee, Harriet Miers, withdrew, making it strike one for President Bush.

"[Now he will] sort of regroup; look at all of the possibilities," said Matt Smyth, Director of Communications for the UVa Center for Politics.

The President drew criticism from both Democrats and Republicans about Miers' nomination, local experts calling it a lose-lose situation.

"He's going to face some criticism for withdrawing the nomination, and he probably would've faced a lot more criticism during the confirmation process," added Smyth.

In addition to how difficult the battle will be, Mr. Bush must also think about how it will reflect on his administration.

"He has to consider a lot of factors, race, gender, prior experience. We've seen with the Miers nomination that a prior record or some prior experience on a bench is important and if it's not there, there's going to be a lot more questions asked."

Miers hadn't done a lot of specific writing on key issues like abortion, the death penalty, or gay rights, a fact that raised concern on both sides.

But in light of Miers' withdrawal, some believe Mr. Bush will have more luck the second time around.

"I think the Administration and President Bush specifically have learned from the last several weeks concerning Ms. Miers, and they'll pick somebody most likely that has a solid conservative record, but whose also somebody [who is] independent and somewhat representative of what the President himself looks for."

Miers will keep her role as White House Counsel, and some believe she might play a role in choosing the next Supreme Court nominee.

Three judges who sit on the federal appeals court in Richmond are on the list of possible nominees, all of whom are considered solid conservatives.

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