President Bush has nominated White House legal counsel and longtime aide Harriet
Miers to the Supreme Court.
Harriet Miers has served as counsel to the president since last February, and for many years has been a devoted advisor to Mr. Bush.
She was the president's personal lawyer when he was governor of Texas, and has served in various roles in the White House since 2001.
In announcing her nomination, President Bush said Ms. Miers has committed her life to justice and the law.
"For the past five years Harriet Miers has served in critical roles in our nation's government, including one of the most important legal positions in the country, White House counsel," said Mr. Bush. "She has devoted her life to the rule of law and the cause of justice. She will be an outstanding addition to the Supreme Court of the United States."
In an Oval Office ceremony with Ms. Miers at his side, President Bush credited her with breaking down barriers to women in the Texas legal profession, becoming the first woman to head her Dallas law firm, and the first woman president of the Dallas Bar Association.
If confirmed by the Senate, Ms. Miers would replace retiring Justice Sandra Day O'Connor.
Mr. Bush said Ms. Miers, who has extensive legal experience but has never been a judge, will be fair to all Americans.
"I believe the Senators of both parties will find that Harriet Miers' talent, experience and judicial philosophy make her a superb choice to safeguard the constitutional liberties and equality of all Americans. Harriet Miers will strictly interpret our constitution and laws. She will not legislate from the bench," he said.
Ms. Miers says she looks forward to the confirmation process and stated her view of a justice's priorities.
"It is the responsibility of every generation to be true to the founders' vision of the proper role of the courts in our society," said Ms. Miers. "If confirmed, I recognize that I will have a tremendous responsibility to keep our judicial system strong and to help ensure that the courts meet their obligations to strictly apply the laws and the constitution."
The Miers nomination announcement came shortly before Mr. Bush's choice for an earlier vacancy, John Roberts, was installed as the Supreme Court's new chief justice.
Ms. Miers, who is 60 years old and unmarried, grew up in Dallas, Texas and earned her law degree at Southern Methodist University.
Since Ms. Miers has no judicial record, her views on controversial issues that may come before the court, such as abortion, are virtually unknown.