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.