Bush picks Miers for Supreme Court

President George W. Bush picked White House counsel Harriet Miers as the next justice on the U.S. Supreme Court and was to announce it on Monday morning.

Miers, a longtime ally of Bush's going back to his days as Texas governor, would replace Justice Sandra Day O'Connor on the high court.

The announcement was scheduled to come at 8 a.m. EDT (noon GMT) at the White House with Miers present.

A senior administration official said the name of Miers, 60, came up in consultations with both Republican and Democratic senators as someone who could win bipartisan support.

The official also said some senators from both parties thought it was important for Bush to pick someone who was not a judge and could offer a different perspective on the job.

Bush offered her the job on Sunday night over dinner at the White House residence, the official said.

O'Connor was a key swing vote on the closely divided Supreme Court and her replacement was certain to undergo great scrutiny at the U.S. Senate, which must confirm Bush's choice.

The announcement will come just hours before the Supreme Court opens its 2005-2006 term with Bush's first choice for the court, Chief Justice John Roberts, taking his seat for the first time, Reuters reports.

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