A sampling of reaction from liberal and conservative quarters to the nomination of Harriet Miers to the U.S. Supreme Court:
“With this selection, the president has chosen another outstanding nominee to sit on our nation’s highest court. Ms. Miers is honest and hard working and understands the importance of judicial restraint and the limited role of a judge to interpret the law and not legislate from the bench.” — Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn.
“The Supreme Court would benefit from the addition of a justice who has real experience as a practicing lawyer. The current justices have all been chosen from the lower federal courts. A nominee with relevant non-judicial experience would bring a different and useful perspective to the court.” — Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid of Nevada.
“She has a reputation for being loyal to this president, whom she has a long history of serving as a close adviser and in working to advance his objectives. In an administration intent on accumulating executive power, Ms. Miers’ views on and role in these issues will be important for the Senate to examine.” — Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., top Democrat on the Judiciary Committee
“We know even less about Harriet Miers than we did about John Roberts and because this is the critical swing seat on the Court, Americans will need to know a lot more about Mier’s judicial philosophy and legal background before any vote for confirmation.” — Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y.
"Harriet Miers is a brilliant legal mind. She is a woman of outstanding character who clearly understands what it means to follow the law. She is deeply committed to public service, and has a distinguished history of professional achievement. It is clear that her past experiences have well prepared her for the honor of serving our country as a Supreme Court Justice.” — Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas.
“She has been a forceful advocate of conservative legal principles and judicial restraint throughout her career.” — Leonard Leo, executive vice president of the Federalist Society.
“We are concerned about the nomination of Harriet Miers and we demand she answer questions regarding her views of fundamental reproductive and privacy rights. We expect Miers to make clear her views on reproductive rights during the hearing process, and the Senate should not confirm a nominee who is not willing to do so.” — Karen Pearl, interim president of Planned Parenthood.
“The president’s nomination of Miers is a betrayal of the conservative, pro-family voters whose support put Bush in the White House in both the 2000 and 2004 elections and who were promised Supreme Court appointments in the mold of Thomas and Scalia. ... When there are so many proven judges in the mix, it is unacceptable this president has appointed a political crony with no conservative credentials.” — Eugene Delgaudio, president of the conservative group Public Advocate.
“Harriet Miers has had a trailblazing career as one of the top lawyers in the country and is extraordinarily well qualified to serve on the Supreme Court.” — Ken Mehlman, chairman, Republican National Committee.
“With no past judicial experience for the senators to consider, the burden will be on Miers to be forthright with the Senate and the American people. She must outline her judicial philosophy and provide direct answers to questions about how and whether she will uphold fundamental rights, liberties and legal protections on which Americans rely. ... There must be no rush to judgment.” — Ralph G. Neas, president of People for the American Way, a liberal public advocacy group.
“We owe it to the American people to take our time to be sure the nominee will uphold their most basic and fundamental rights. The public demands this from the process, and deserve no less.” — Sen. Barbara Mikulski, D-Md.
“From what I have seen thus far, I believe Ms. Miers to be an outstanding woman, exemplifying the very best in leadership, integrity and the utmost character to serve on our nation’s highest court. She has had a distinguished career, and I look forward to a great set of confirmation hearings and a timely up or down vote in the Senate for Harriet Miers.” — Sen. Conrad Burns, R-Mont.
“The reaction of many conservatives today will be that the president has made possibly the most unqualified choice since Abe Fortas who had been the president’s lawyer. The nomination of a nominee with no judicial record is a significant failure for the advisers that the White House gathered around it. However, the president deserves the benefit of a doubt, the nominee deserves the benefit of hearings, and every nominee deserves an up or down vote.” — Manuel Miranda, chairman of the conservative Third Branch Conference
“I have worked with her for many years and have seen firsthand her legal acumen and know that she will be a credit to the court and this nation. She has risen to the very top of the legal profession, earning the respect of all who know her. Ms. Miers would bring to the Court her brilliance, dedication, and her commitment to the rule of law and equal access to justice for all.” — Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales.
“We give Harriet Miers the benefit of the doubt because thus far, President Bush has selected nominees to the federal courts who are committed to the written Constitution. Whether we can support her will depend on what we learn from her record and the hearing process.” — Jan LaRue, chief counsel of the conservative Concerned Women for America.
“The burden is on the Bush administration and Harriet Miers to prove to the American people that she will respect and protect our fundamental freedoms, including a woman’s right to choose. Miers does not appear to have a public record to assure Americas pro-choice majority that she is a moderate in the tradition of Justice Sandra Day OConnor, who was the critical swing vote that protected women’s reproductive health and freedom.” — Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America.
“This is a smart move. You try to pick a nominee that Democrats won’t be able to criticize as much because they are a woman or minority. This is a classic Clarence Thomas strategy.” — Artemus Ward, Northern Illinois University political science professor.