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Bush tries to reassure conservatives on Miers nomination

[JURIST] President Bush defended his latest pick for the US Supreme Court [JURIST report] on Tuesday after some leading conservatives questioned the judicial philosophy of White House counsel Harriet Miers [official profile]. Bush told reporters [White House transcript] that Miers "shares my philosophy that judges should strictly interpret the laws and the Constitution of the United States, and not legislate from the bench." Miers' nomination has been attacked by conservative politicians and commentators who argue that Miers is an unknown quantity rather than a clear-cut jurist such as Justices Antonin Scalia or Clarence Thomas [Oyez profiles]. Senator Sam Brownback (R-KA) [official website] said Tuesday he was disappointed with the selection [AP report] of a candidate without clear views on same-sex marriage and abortion. Conservative commentator and radio host Rush Limbaugh [show website] asserted [partial broadcast transcript] that Bush's pick "was made from weakness" and that it was an "unnecessary roll of the dice." Gary Bauer of American Values [advocacy website] also criticized the president for picking a nominee who has no record "on anything that matters to the people who elected George Bush." Focus on the Family [advocacy website] chief James Dobson, however, expressed support [news release] for Miers' nomination, saying she appeared to be consistent with previous judicial nominations by Bush. The White House has enlisted Vice President Dick Cheney and scores of other Bush loyalists to lobby conservatives on Miers' behalf. Response to the nomination so far appears to be mixed [JURIST report]. AP has more.

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