Thursday, October 27, 2005

Miers Withdraws

Thank God. The WaPo has the details.

This was a disaster from the start and the fact that Miers has the grace to withdraw saves the Bush Administration, and Miers herself, what would have been an embarrassing confirmation hearing and the growing likelihood of her being rejected by the Senate. (And in a spasm of immodesty, this was something I predicted on October 4th.)

It is entirely possible that this is the first executive nomination affected by the advent of blogs and if it was, good. Instapundit, Michelle Malkin, Ann Althouse, Captain's Quarters, Polipundit, along with a lot of others helped derail this train wreck. Bravo.

Charles Krauthammer was prescient:

Finally, a way out: irreconcilable differences over documents.

For a nominee who, unlike John Roberts, has practically no record on constitutional issues, such documentation is essential for the Senate to judge her thinking and legal acumen. But there is no way that any president would release this kind of information -- "policy documents" and "legal analysis" -- from such a close confidante. It would forever undermine the ability of any president to get unguarded advice.

That creates a classic conflict, not of personality, not of competence, not of ideology, but of simple constitutional prerogatives: The Senate cannot confirm her unless it has this information. And the White House cannot allow release of this information lest it jeopardize executive privilege.

Hence the perfectly honorable way to solve the conundrum: Miers withdraws out of respect for both the Senate and the executive's prerogatives, the Senate expresses appreciation for this gracious acknowledgment of its needs and responsibilities, and the White House accepts her decision with the deepest regret and with gratitude for Miers's putting preservation of executive prerogative above personal ambition.

Did Krauthammer write Bush's statement too?

I understand and share her concern, however, about the current state of the Supreme Court confirmation process. It is clear that senators would not be satisfied until they gained access to internal documents concerning advice provided during her tenure at the White House disclosures that would undermine a president's ability to receive candid counsel. Harriet Miers' decision demonstrates her deep respect for this essential aspect of the constitutional separation of powers and confirms my deep respect and admiration for her.

I am grateful for Harriet Miers' friendship and devotion to our country.


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