White House counsel Harriet Miers has been nominated to the Supreme Court by US President George W Bush.
Miers, 60, requires approval from the Republican-controlled Senate, has never been a judge, and will replace Sandra Day O’Connor to help reshape the nation’s judiciary.
Miers has been White House counsel since November 2004, and was formerly Bush’s personal lawyer in Texas.
The nomination came on the same day Bush’s first Supreme Court pick, Chief Justice John Roberts, took the bench for the first time.
Of Miers, Bush said: “She has devoted her life to the rule of law and the cause of justice.”
If confirmed, Miers would join Justice Ruth Bader Bingsburg as the second woman on the nation’s highest court and the third to serve there. She was the first woman to serve as president of the Texas State Bar and the Dallas Bar Association.
Miers, whom Bush called a trailblazer for women in the legal profession, said she was humbled by the nod.
“If confirmed, I recognise I will have a tremendous responsibility to keep our judicial system strong and to help insure the court meets their obligations to strictly apply the laws and Constitution,” she said.