[JURIST] AP is reporting that President Bush will nominate White House counsel Harriet Miers [official profile; Washington Post profile] to replace retiring Justice Sandra Day O'Connor as an Associate Justice on the US Supreme Court. A formal announcement is expected at 8 AM ET. Miers was mooted as a dark-horse candidate [NRO column] for the slot as early as July, and her name came up again in speculation last week as Bush was said to be moving towards a selection. It is not yet clear, however, whether her nomination will satisfy liberals or conservatives [NRO column]. AP has more.
8:13 AM ET - At the White House press conference announcing the nomination, President Bush said of Miers, "She has devoted her life to the rule of law and the cause of justice...She will be an outstanding addition to the Supreme Court of the United States." AP has more.
9:22 AM ET - In announcing his nomination of Miers, President Bush noted her lack of experience on the bench:
Harriet's life has been characterized by service to others, and she will bring that same passion for service to the Supreme Court of the United States. I've given a lot of thought to the kind of people who should serve on the federal judiciary. I've come to agree with the late Chief Justice William Rehnquist, who wrote about the importance of having judges who are drawn from a wide diversity of professional backgrounds. Justice Rehnquist himself came to the Supreme Court without prior experience on the bench, as did more than 35 other men, including Byron White. And I'm proud to nominate an outstanding woman who brings a similar record of achievement in private practice and public service.Accepting the nomination, Miers said:
From my early days as a clerk in the federal district court, and throughout almost three decades of legal practice, bar service and community service, I have always had a great respect and admiration for the genius that inspired our Constitution and our system of government. My respect and admiration have only grown over these past five years that you have allowed me to serve the American people as a representative of the executive branch.Read the full text of both President Bush's and Miers' remarks.
The wisdom of those who drafted our constitution and conceived our nation as functioning with three strong and independent branches have proven truly remarkable. It is the responsibility of every generation to be true to the founders' vision of the proper role of the courts in our society. If confirmed, I recognize that I will have a tremendous responsibility to keep our judicial system strong, and to help ensure that the courts meet their obligations to strictly apply the laws and the Constitution.
10:53 AM ET - Recorded video of the nomination press conference is now available from the White House.