Miers has withdrawn. Bush said:
"It is clear that senators would not be satisfied until they gained access to internal documents concerning advice provided during her tenure at the White House - disclosures that would undermine a president's ability to receive candid counsel," Bush said. "Harriet Miers' decision demonstrates her deep respect for this essential aspect of the constitutional separation of powers - and confirms my deep respect and admiration for her."
That's the excuse -- what's the reason. We'll probably never really know, but this 1993 speech couldn't help (FRC):
Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers spoke to the Executive Women of Dallas in 1993 and offered a troubling assessment of the abortion issue. In a story reported in today's Washington Post (FRC has obtained the text of the speech, which was included in the papers she delivered to the Senate Judiciary Committee) Miss Miers said: "The ongoing debate continues surrounding the attempt to once again criminalize abortions or to once and for all guarantee the freedom of the individual [woman's right] to decide for herself whether she will have an abortion." She urged her listeners to remember that "we gave up...legislating religion or morality." She added: "When science cannot determine the facts and decisions vary based upon religious belief, then government should not act."
That's not the sort of talk that's going to win you friends on the right.