July 6, 2005


Reid: Gonzales qualified for high court (KEN RITTER, July 6, 2005, Associated Press)

Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid on Wednesday pronounced Attorney General Alberto Gonzales qualified to sit on the Supreme Court but added, "I don't know if he'd have an easy way through" Senate confirmation. [...]

Reid voted against Gonzales' appointment to Bush's Cabinet.

Smart of Mr. Reid to take advaqntage of the baying by the full-moon Right, but only if he's convinced Mr. Bush won't in fact pick General Gonzalez. Not a safe bet.

Posted by Orrin Judd at July 6, 2005 5:41 PM

The dems are really worried about Judge Janice Rogers being nominated.

So, now we'll be hearing about those candidates who would "probably be tolerable" to them. Sad.

Posted by: John J. Coupal at July 6, 2005 5:48 PM

With another president, this might have been the kiss of death for Gonzales. W's not for turning, though.

Posted by: David Cohen at July 6, 2005 5:56 PM

As if Mr. Reid's word means anything. Please.

Posted by: John Resnick at July 6, 2005 5:58 PM

If Rehnquist steps down, this opens the door to a conservative getting nominated in addition to Gonzalez. Not a bad deal.

Posted by: bart at July 6, 2005 7:22 PM

bart: You mean "when" right?

Posted by: John Resnick at July 6, 2005 7:51 PM

I don't buy the conventional wisdom at all that Bush is considering nominating Gonzalez. I know it was Novak who originally said so, but my intuition says no. They may be friends, but it would be out of character.
The Left is very loudly trying to nudge Bush towards him, though, and I can't blame them.

Hasn't this happend before? The c.w. says Bush is leaning towards, or will, take a more moderate course of action, but in the end he always stuns and disappoints them. Someone from the round table at Fox Sunday said that and I couldn't agree more.

Posted by: Emily B. at July 6, 2005 8:42 PM

Alberto Gonzales is one of his best friends. If he's intent on naming a conservative justice and believes Gonzales will be one why wouldn't he pick him?

Posted by: oj at July 6, 2005 8:45 PM

There will be at least two, and maybe three more vacancies in the next 12-18 months (Rehnquist, Stevens, and possibly Ginsburg). Bush has time. And as wild as this battle might be (for O'Connor's seat), it will be wilder still just a few months before the mid-term elections.

The Democrats can't stop anyone - and Bush can always recess appoint someone and say it is in the tradition of Eisenhower, who recess appointed both Warren and Brennan.

Reid, Schumer, et al. are beginning to realize how weak their hand is, and how it will likely be weaker after Nov. 2006, when they will be down probably 3 more seats.

Posted by: jim hamlen at July 6, 2005 8:56 PM

I see him as moderate and so does National Review and many, if not most, pundits and thinkers on the Right. I guess it's true that Bush may not, but Bush strikes me as liking his judges very, very conservative.

Also, we ugly step-children on the Right aren't getting noticed that much because the Liberal groups and their Senators (Boxer, especially) are sucking out all the air.
Conservative pundits have been thoughtfully critiquing Gonzalez; we have no screeching senator or parades going on.

Posted by: Emily B. at July 6, 2005 9:02 PM

Thoughtful? It's reflexive.

Posted by: oj at July 6, 2005 9:05 PM

It's thoughtful when it comes from the Eastern Time Zone, otherwise its reflexive.

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at July 6, 2005 9:20 PM

I would prefer others but I won't suddenly become a Dem because a president selects his close friend and the Attorney General to the Supreme Court. It's his choice. Gonzalez is pretty conservative, just not as pure as pro-lifers and pro-gun people like. Sort of like his boss.

If you think the "Religious Right" doesn't care for Gonzalez, look at the libertarian gun lover sites like Spoons or Bil Quick. You would think he was Ted Kennedy.

I stil think that it wil be a woman for this opening, Gonzalez later. I am prepared to be wrong.

Posted by: Bob at July 7, 2005 11:38 AM

Reading articles about Gonzales in the NYTimes and WSJ yesterday, I am no longer convinced that Gonzales is as squishy as his detractors think he is.

The chief claims against him arrise out of a case under the Texas parental notification of abortion statute which had, as required by SCOTUS a judicial by-pass provision. Gonzales read the statute as written, and jabbed Pricilla Ownen for trying to narrow the by-pass.

To me it is more important to read it as written than to be anti or pro anything.

The second gripe with Gonzales is the briefs that were filed by the government in the affirmative action case (Grutter). The anti-aa people wanted a full denunciation of AA, but business groups wanted to be sheltered from any second guessing of what they have already done, and the military wanted to be left to its own devices. The results were political.

I will have to go along with Bush on whoever he selects, because he will be the only one who talked to them about their real ideas. If its Gonzales, I don't think I will have a problem with it.

However, I don't think Bush will appoint Gonzales and then have to go hire a new AG. I think he might do it in 2007, but not now. Gonzales was appointed AG this year. I don't think Bush as an executive wants to shuffle his people that quickly. He knew that there was likely to be an opening this year, and I don't think he would have appointed Gonzales to AG and then have to replace him 6 months later.

Posted by: Robert Schwartz at July 7, 2005 6:34 PM