The following is the text of a letter from US Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers to President George W Bush announcing the withdrawal of her nomination, after it drew criticism from both Republicans and Democrats.
Dear Mr President,
I write to withdraw as a nominee to serve as an Associate Justice on the Supreme Court of the United States.
I have been greatly honoured and humbled by the confidence that you have shown in me, and have appreciated immensely your support and the support of many others.
However, I am concerned that the confirmation process presents a burden for the White House and our staff that is not in the best interest of the country.
As you know, members of the Senate have indicated their intention to seek documents about my service in the White House in order to judge whether to support me.
I have been informed repeatedly that in lieu of records, I would be expected to testify about my service in the White House to demonstrate my experience and judicial philosophy.
While I believe that my lengthy career provides sufficient evidence for consideration of my nomination, I am convinced the efforts to obtain Executive Branch materials and information will continue.
As I stated in my acceptance remarks in the Oval Office, the strength and independence of our three branches of government are critical to the continued success of this great Nation.
Repeatedly in the course of the process of confirmation for nominees for other positions, I have steadfastly maintained that the independence of the Executive Branch be preserved and its confidential documents and information not be released to further a confirmation process.
I feel compelled to adhere to this position, especially related to my own nomination. Protection of the prerogatives of the Executive Branch and continued pursuit of my confirmation are in tension.
I have decided that seeking my confirmation should yield.
I share your commitment to appointing judges with a conservative judicial philosophy, and I look forward to continuing to support your efforts to provide the American people judges who will interpret the law, not make it.
I am most grateful for the opportunity to have served your Administration and this country.
Harriet Ellan Miers