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A conservative group opposing Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers announced plans Tuesday to broadcast a TV ad calling for President Bush to withdraw her nomination. The White House said it was standing behind Miers. “She is going to be going before the Senate Judiciary Committee in less than two weeks,” Bush spokesman Scott McClellan said. “She looks forward to answering their questions. And I think that people should not try to rush to judgment on it.” The ad, by Americans for Better Justice, is the first anti-Miers television ad, and it demonstrates the ongoing battle the White House is facing over her nomination. A relatively small purchase, it will air for a week on a single cable station. Bush named Miers about a month ago as the replacement for retiring Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, a swing vote on the court’s abortion and affirmative action decisions. The conservative group Progress for America Voter Fund supported her nomination with television ads. However, many conservatives have criticized the president for nominating Miers, a 60-year-old with no experience as a judge and a scant public record on controversial issues such as abortion rights. “Conservatives have worked too hard for too long to settle for anything less than our very best on the Supreme Court,” said David Frum, a former Bush speechwriter who serves as a spokesman for Americans for Better Justice. Miers worked on gaining Senate support on Tuesday, scheduling visits with Republicans John Ensign of Nevada and Johnny Isaakson of Georgia, and Judiciary Committee Democrat Russ Feingold of Wisconsin. Miers’ Senate shepherd, former Sen. Dan Coats of Indiana, also spoke to the Senate Republicans’ weekly policy luncheon. None of the Senate’s 55 Republican senators have openly opposed Miers. Sen. John Thune, R-S.D. — one of the senators who have said conservatives would have preferred someone else — said he expects most of the Senate’s majority Republicans to stay silent on Miers until the confirmation hearings. “I think most people are granting her, according her, the benefit of the doubt, subject to the time she has to appear before the committee to make her case in person,” Thune said. Miers’ confirmation hearing is scheduled to begin on Nov. 7. Senators are negotiating with the White House over what kind of documents the administration will release from Miers’ time there. Bush said Monday that he will not turn over documents detailing the private advice Miers gave him while serving in the White House, but senators say the administration has documents that can be shared without interfering with the president’s ability to get advice. “I think we can get materials which will be helpful to us,” said Senate Judiciary chairman Arlen Specter, R-Pa. Miers is expected on Wednesday to give the Senate her answers to a second questionnaire crafted by the committee. Specter and Judiciary’s top Democrat, Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont, criticized Miers’ responses to the committee’s first questionnaire as vague and incomplete. “I would hope they would be a lot more complete than last time,” Leahy said. Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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