Bush Nominates Harriet Miers to Supreme Court

Bush Nominates Harriet Miers to Supreme Court
Ron Edmonds/AP

updated 10/03/2005 AT 02:30 PM EDT

originally published 10/03/2005 AT 08:00 AM EDT

President Bush has chosen White House counsel Harriet Ellen Miers, 60, to be his second nominee to the Supreme Court, he announced Monday morning.

Calling her "an American of grace … judgment, and unwavering devotion to our country," the president concluded his announcement by turning the podium over to Miers, who said of the Senate confirmation hearings awaiting her: "I look forward to participating in that process." She also thanked her brothers and their families, as well as her father and late mother, for their "love and devotion."

Bush's nomination of Miers as the replacement for the retiring Sandra Day O'Connor came just hours before the court began a new term with newly sworn-in Chief Justice John Roberts at the helm.

Miers, a loyal member of the president's inner circle, was educated at Southern Methodist University, earning both undergraduate and law degrees there. Never married and with no children, Miers was Bush's personal lawyer in Texas, and news reports say that she has no paper trail regarding decisions on such hot-button issues as abortion and gay rights.

Bush, in a lighter vein, has described her as "a pit bull in size 6 shoes."

Miers has never been a judge, but that's not a requirement for a Supreme Court justice. According to The New York Times, when Bush was governor of Texas, he named her chairwoman of the Texas Lottery Commission and gave her the task of cleaning up that scandal-plagued agency.

As news of Miers's nomination spread, Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid issued a complimentary statement personally endorsing Miers, saying "the Supreme Court would benefit from the addition of a justice who has real experience as a practicing lawyer."

There were opposing sentiments, as well. Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) said, "The president has selected a loyal political ally without a judicial record to sit on the highest court in the land."

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