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|Do you want Gonzales as Attorney General?
By Josh Rosen
George W. Bush has nominated Alberto R. Gonzales to be Attorny General. Speculation is the nomination is a way to flesh out Gonzales' resume before nominating him to the Supreme Court.
This speculation is well founded. While Governor of Texas, Bush made Gonzales his General Counsel. Then made him Secretary of State to polish up his resume so Bush could put him on the Texas Supreme Court. This nomination looks to be a repeat of that stratigy.
The question is, do we want Gonzales as either Attorny General or as a Supreme Court Justice? Some people who do, may not when thy learn more about Al Gonzales.
When Bush took office as Governor, Texas had a very conservative Supreme court. Bush got to nominate four justices, including Gonzales. He changed the tilt of the Court to a more "moderate" tilt and won good reviews for doing it from the leftist in the Texas Bar Assn, the Fort Worth Star Telegram, etc. One of the only things Bush ever did that sort of pleased Molly Ivens was "(he)made the Texas Supreme Court somewhat more moderate."
Now, anyone who ever read the trash Molly writes knows that she makes Michael Moore look like a moderate. But Molly isn't the only radical leftist one who credited Bush with breaking the "right wing old guard" and replacing it with a "more moderate new guard". Various leftist groups, including the Texas Trial Lawyers, honored Bush's four Justices.
One of the "radicals" who was part of the "old Guard" was a lady named Priscilla Owen. Some readers may remember her. In 2002 Bush nominated her to 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
The left, including their shills in the elite press, savaged Justice Owen. Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee rejected her nomination to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on a strict 10 to nine party line vote.
During the debate on Justice Owen's nomination, Justice Owen was Borked by such groups as People for the American Way, National Organization of Women, Pro-Choice America, NARAL, Texans For Public Justice, Save Our Courts and other extreme left groups. As part of their smear campaign that kept a fine judge off the court, the left used the writings of none other than White House Counsel to President, Al Gonzales. Some of the most viscious personal attacks on Justice Owen came from the writings of Bush's own White House Counsel from the days when they both served on the Texas Supreme Court.
In one abortion case Gonzales wrote a separate opnion where he specifically critizied Justice Owen for advocating a narrow construction of the statute. Gonzales and the "moderate wing of the court wanted a broader construction allowing easier access to abortions for minor girls. Owen and the "radical" wing of the court wanted a strict interpretation that would save more babies' lives. Gonzales specifically wrote that adopting the conservatives' strict interpretation "would be an unconscionable act of judicial activism."
But it isn't just that Owen is pro-life and Gonzales is pro-abortion, he dosen't like the fact that she is pro-private property either. In a case where the "moderates" struck down a Texas law that allowed land owners to set up their own water quality districts, Gonzales again attacked Owen in a written opinion that the far left used to keep Owen off the Federal bench.
In that case, Owen wrote an eloquent dissenting opinion pointing out that the "moderate" majority's opinion "strikes a severe blow to private property rights." Gonzales wrote that Owen's defense of property rights and the law passed by the Texas legislature "is nothing more than inflammatory rhetoric," and that "the two legal arguments Justice Owen does make are both based on a flawed premise."
Another area where conservatives may find Gonzales to be less than desirable as Attorney General or as a Justice is affirmative action. Gonzales is in favor of affirmative action. He was one of the architects of Bush's infamous "Ten Percent Solution" that made an end run around a Supreme Court decision banning reverse discrimination in Texas college admissions.
Gonzales also led the group that convinced Bush to change the administration's opposition to the University of Michigan's affirmative action program to a position that basically condoned it. Unlike Gonzales, conservatives don't want to continue the practice of discriminating against people on the basis of their race.
The left has problems with Gonzales on other issues, but conservatives should ask themselves if they want someone like him as Attorney General or as a Supreme Court Justice. If not they should tell their senators.
Josh Rosen is a freelance writer living in Texas. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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