Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers withdrew herself from consideration for the office of associate justice Thursday amid criticism over her qualifications - a decision that received commendation from some Christian leaders.
In a letter addressed to the President, she noted that Senators had indicated their intention to request documents about her tenure as White House Counsel.
Miers said she was "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."
"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," she stated.
President Bush, who "reluctantly" accepted Miers' decision to withdraw, also expressed concern over the Senators' inquiry.
"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," he said in a statement released by the White House.
The President said 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."
Christian leaders also commended Miers' for her decision.
"Miss Miers has shown great respect and consideration by putting the needs of the American people and the judicial system above her own personal ambitions," commented Wendy Wright, Executive Vice President for Concerned Women for America (CWA), in a released statement. "We look forward to future opportunities of working with Miss Miers and will stand united with her on common goals."
"It was hard to call for Miss Miers' withdrawal yesterday," added Jan LaRue, CWA's chief counsel, "but we felt it was the best thing for the Court, the President and Miss Miers."
The Rev. Rob Schenck of the National Clergy Council expressed his gratitude for Miers' "painfully difficult decision."
"In many ways, this was her ultimate service to the President and to the country," said Rev. Rob Schenck, in a released statement.
"We will now prayerfully support a new nominee that will unequivocally fulfill President Bush's promise to appoint judges who strictly interpret the Constitution instead of single-handedly amending it," he added.
Following Miers' withdrawal, President Bush acknowledged that his responsibility to fill the vacancy still remains and said he would "do so in a timely matter."
Previously, both the President and Miers had given no indication that a withdrawal had been planned. Her appearance before the Senate Judiciary committee had been planned for early November.