updated 1/4/2007 12:31:37 PM ET 2007-01-04T17:31:37

Harriet Miers, President Bush’s failed Supreme Court nominee, has submitted her resignation as White House counsel, the White House announced Thursday.

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White House press secretary Tony Snow said the president reluctantly accepted her resignation, which takes effect Jan. 31. He said a search for a successor is under way.

Bush nominated Miers in October 2005 to replace retiring Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, but she dropped out under fire from conservatives who questioned her qualifications and would not support her.

Asked why she was leaving, Snow said: “Basically, she has been here six years.”

“As somebody said earlier today, ‘She put 12 years of service into six years,’ ” Snow said.

Snow said Miers’ departure did not signal the beginning of an exodus of senior officials after six bruising years at the White House. Asked if other officials were poised to go, Snow said, “I’m aware of none and anticipate none.”

He said Miers, a loyal adviser to the president for years, has been having conversations with white House chief of staff Joshua Bolten about leaving for some time and both of them agreed that it was time for a change at the White House office of legal counsel.

“Harriet is one of the most beloved people here at the White House,” Snow said, adding that she was a scrupulous lawyer who aggressively defended the Constitution.

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