Published January 13, 2015
The following is a list of possible candidates President Bush could choose after the withdrawal of Harriet Miers' nomination:
Samuel A. Alito, 55: A strong conservative voice in his 15 years on the Philadelphia-based 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which is considered to be among the most liberal. He has been dubbed "Scalito" or "Scalia-lite" by some lawyers because his judicial philosophy invites comparisons to that of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.
Emilio Garza, 58: Sits on the New Orleans-based 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals and was considered for a Supreme Court seat by the first President Bush. He has become best known for his views that Roe v. Wade should be overturned and that abortion regulation should be decided by state legislatures.
Alberto Gonzales, 50: U.S. attorney general and former White House counsel. Critics contend a memo he wrote on treatment of terrorism detainees helped lead to abuses such as those seen at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. Conservatives have urged Bush not to nominate him.
Edith Hollan Jones, 55: Has served on the 5th Circuit since 1985. The first President Bush considered Jones for a vacancy on the Supreme Court in 1990, but nominated David H. Souter.
J. Michael Luttig, 51: Worked in the Justice Department during the administration of the first President Bush and has served on the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Va. He was a law clerk to the late Chief Justice Warren Burger from 1983-84.
Michael McConnell, 50: A judge on the Denver-based 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. He enjoys bipartisan support in the academic community. Based on his reading of the law, he opposed President Clinton's impeachment and the Supreme Court's 2000 ruling in Bush v. Gore that made George W. Bush president.
Theodore B. Olson, 64: Was solicitor general, the president's top Supreme Court lawyer. He argued the Supreme Court case that gave Bush the victory in the 2000 presidential election. His wife, Barbara, a conservative commentator, was killed when terrorists crashed a jet into the Pentagon on Sept. 11, 2001.
Larry D. Thompson, 59: Was deputy attorney general during Bush's first term, making Thompson the federal government's highest-ranking black law enforcement official. Thompson is a longtime friend of Clarence Thomas who sat next to Thomas more than a decade ago during contentious Senate hearings on Thomas' nomination to the Supreme Court.
J. Harvie Wilkinson III, 60: Also on the 4th Circuit. He has been consistently conservative in his rulings since being put on the court by Reagan in 1984. Wilkinson wrote the majority 4th Circuit opinion in 1996 upholding the "don't ask, don't tell" policy that barred gays serving in the military from revealing their sexual orientation.
Priscilla Owen, 50: Owen was confirmed in May for a seat on the 5th Circuit after a drawn-out Senate battle. Democrats argued that Owen let her political beliefs to color her rulings. They were particularly critical of her decisions in abortion cases involving teenagers.
Miguel Estrada, 44: President Bush nominated Estrada, a conservative Hispanic lawyer, to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit during his first term, but the nomination was thwarted by Senate Democrats who said Estrada lacked the judicial experience to serve and didn't make clear his views on abortion.
Edith Brown Clement, 57: On the 5th Circuit since 2001, Clement is known as a no-nonsense judge with a reputation for being tough on crime and meting out stiff sentences. Her 99-0 Senate confirmation vote to the circuit court in November 2001 suggests she has broad appeal. She was touted as a top possibility for the vacancy to which Roberts was nominated.
Janice Rogers Brown, 56: Newly confirmed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit after a bitter Senate battle and filibuster, Brown is an outspoken black Christian conservative who supports limits on abortion rights and corporate liability.
Alice Batchelder, 61: A judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, Batchelder has been a reliable conservative vote on abortion, affirmative action and gun control. Bush's father appointed the former high school English teacher to the court with jurisdiction over Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee.
Karen Williams, 54: A former trial lawyer, Williams is known as one of the most conservative judges on the nation's most conservative federal appeals court, the Richmond-based 4th Circuit. In 1999, Williams wrote the 4th Circuit opinion that would have paved the way for overturning the landmark 1966 decision in Miranda that outlines the rights read to criminal suspects. The Supreme Court voted 7-2 to let it stand.
Maura Corrigan, 57: The Michigan Supreme Court justice is a walking billboard for the conservative mantra of judicial restraint — the notion that judges should stick to interpreting the law and not making it. Her resume includes a number of firsts, among them: first woman to serve as chief assistant U.S. attorney in Detroit, first woman to serve as chief judge of the Michigan Court of Appeals.
Maureen Mahoney, 50: Often described as the female version of Chief Justice John Roberts, Mahoney, a lawyer in private practice, clerked for the late Justice William Rehnquist, served as deputy solicitor general under Kenneth Starr and has argued cases before the Supreme Court. Mahoney might upset conservatives with one of her major court wins, the landmark University of Michigan Law School case defending affirmative action.
John Cornyn, 53: A member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, the first-term Texas senator has judicial experience and conservative bona fides. He served as a Texas District Court judge and spent eight years on the Texas Supreme Court. The former Texas attorney general has pushed for constitutional amendments banning same-sex marriage and flag burning.