Sunday, July 03, 2005

Far Right Mobilizes Against Gonzales

When President Bush nominates a justice to replace Sandra Day O’Connor on the Supreme Court, everyone is expecting the left to go on the attack and the right to defend the choice strongly. But what if the nominee upsets both sides?

That situation could very well happen if Bush nominates U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales. A number of conservative groups have already come out in opposition to a Gonzales nomination, fearing him to be too liberal, particularly on abortion. As reported in The New York Times, the opposition from the right might not stop the President from choosing Gonzales.

Administration officials discounted the conservative uprising against Mr. Gonzales, saying that Mr. Bush was already aware of the objections and was not convinced by them.

"It is what it is," said one senior administration official, who insisted on anonymity in exchange for discussing the White House views of the criticism of the attorney general. "The president is going to pick someone who is a true constructionist and who is correct in interpreting the law." The official said that Mr. Gonzales fit that description, but also that Mr. Bush might be wary of moving him to a new position so shortly after he was confirmed as attorney general.

I don’t doubt that Gonzales is high on Bush’s list. The two have been friends for a long time and clearly have great respect for one another. Given Bush’s penchant for making decisions based on whether or not he believes someone to be “a good man,” Gonzales’ character could be more important than his jurisprudence in determining whether or not he gets the nod from Bush.

But will Bush make a choice he knows will upset the far right? That would be a surprise. But, in my mind, a welcome one. A Gonzales nomination would be unpopular with the far right and the left, which is a pretty solid endorsement of the man’s mainstream principles. The best outcome of this nomination process would be for O’Connor to be replaced by someone with a similar practicality and aversion to judicial activism—both the liberal and conservative variety.

Gonzales might be a great fit. I need to further study his rulings while he served on the Texas Supreme Court, but I like what I know so far.

For more: Charging RINO thinks a Gonzales nomination would be a good way for Bush to burnish his credibility with the mainstream. And Matthew at Centerfield thinks Centrists should support a Gonzales nomination.


At 1:01 PM, Blogger Shay said...

"Far right" is David Duke, not the folks opposing Gonzales. That is, unless you also consider People for the American Way and NARAL to be the far left (a term that is conspicuously missing from your piece). I don't consider them to be far left, but I wonder why these mainstream liberals are called left while mainstream conservatives are referred to as "far right".

At 1:36 PM, Blogger Alan Stewart Carl said...


Exactly how far right do you want to define "mainstream?" Gonzales is a mainstream conservative. Anyone opposing him for being too liberal would be to his right. Therefor they would be far right. David Duke would be extreme right.

NARAL and their ilk would be far left, but I wasn't writing about them.

At 1:50 PM, Blogger Alan Stewart Carl said...

Accidentally posted before I finished...

It's a matter of semantics is all. By far I mean just outside the mainstream. I'm sure we can debate for awhile what "mainstream" is. But given my regular criticism of the far left and my willingness to call them out on numerous occassions, I find it odd that you would assume I'm giving those on the right less leeway than I would those on the left.

At 2:12 PM, Blogger halcyon67 said...

The people who are opposing Gonzalez, are the David Dukes of America, not in a racist way, but they are within the same arena. PFAW and NARAL are on the left. And no one is denying it.

Politicians have nothing else to do, so they call people names.

At 5:26 PM, Blogger Jami said...

alberto "stress positions" gonzales might appeal to the middle, but he shouldn't.

At 5:39 PM, Blogger Alan Stewart Carl said...

Gonzales was asked to provide a legal brief on what might or might not be legally acceptable forms of interrogation. He was not asked to provide his ethical opinion nor should his brief be considered to be a personal endorsement of torture. Those that have issues with how prisoners have been treated (and that certainly includes me) do not have a beef with Gonzales. They have a beef with those that asked Gonzales for the brief and put the treatment rules in place. To say that Gonzales is to be blamed for the mistreatment of prisoners is akin to saying the ACLU is to blame for the actions of the KKK merely because they've written legal briefs supporting the KKK's legal right to exist.

At 9:45 PM, Blogger J. James Mooney said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 9:49 PM, Blogger J. James Mooney said...

Sorry typo

Well put Mr. Karl, your analysis continues to impress me.


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