SharksWithLasers -- Seth Cooper

A CUTTING-EDGE BLOG FOR THE WORLD OF THE 21st CENTURY, Currently operated by Seth L. Cooper, a 27 year-old attorney in Seattle (sethlcooper at comcast dot net)

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

TAKING A STAND FOR AG GONZALES. If President Bush nominates U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales for Chief Justice or Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, AG Gonzales has my full support.

AG Gonzales was confirmed to his current post because of his strong qualifications. Those same qualifications also render him fit for a place on the Supreme Court. If Gonzales was qualified to become AG, there is no reason why he is not qualified to sit on the nation’s high court. This past winter, I strongly endorsed this man for the post of AG. Most conservatives did as well, and they would do well to remember why.

The conservative opposition to AG Gonzales has surprised me. Such opposition to AG Gonzales is unwarranted and should stop. He is absolutely qualified and if nominated he should be supported. We know his story. He came from humble means, graduated from a top law school, had a successful law practice, served as a Justice on the Texas Supreme Court, served as White House Counsel and is now the Attorney General. There is no doubt in my mind that he is up to the task.

The knocks against AG Gonzales that I have come across fall short of disqualifying him from consideration. They’re simply not convincing to me. The two most frequent knocks are: 1) he ruled against a Texas parental consent law while on that state’s Supreme Court; and 2) he supported affirmative action in the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent ruling on that issue, Grutter v. Bollinger (2003).

As to the former, proponents the no-litmus-test-on-abortion standard need to remember that standard. It cuts BOTH ways. (In any event, it should be kept in mind that then-Justice Gonzales was considering a STATE law under a STATE constitution, not a FEDERAL statute under the FEDERAL constitution. I would not take that one opinion as being decisive in this regard.) As to the latter, I’ve heard conflicting reports as to just whose will Gonzales was carrying out in supporting the Michigan law. Nonetheless, I still don’t think his view on that subject should eliminate him from serious consideration for the high court—particularly when looking at the larger picture and the most pressing issues facing the federal judiciary.

AG Gonzales has served as White House counsel to the President during the War on Terrorism. There remain serious concerns about judicial overreach and second-guessing of decisions that properly belong to the President. The Executive is vested with the power to make war, and federal court cases brought by opponents of the war concerning prisoner detentions are worrisome—particularly when we are still at risk and have soldiers still fighting in the field. If anyone knows the importance of executive prerogative, it would be AG Gonzales. He takes terrorism seriously. AG Gonzales understands the importance of detaining foreign terrorists at Guantanamo Bay and wouldn’t be one to cave into the Sen. Durbin-like hysterics of the Left when it comes to understanding the important military measures that are necessary to successfully wage war.

AG Gonzales has also been on hand to take note of the troubling practice of certain Supreme Court Justices to cite foreign court decisions in interpreting provisions of the U.S. Constitution. In his conduct as White House Counsel, he has demonstrated his unwillingness to swallow the elite, Left-wing professoriate’s gloss on international law. It would be a complete reversal for would-be Justice Gonzales to suddenly smuggle the opinions of foreign tribunals into American constitutional jurisprudence.

Whether President Bush will nominate AG Gonzales for the Supreme Court remains anyone’s guess. This is not to say that AG Gonzales is necessarily my number one choice if/when a vacancy occurs--particularly when we just got him into his current post. Another AG confirmation hearing would be a hassle--particularly if there are TWO Supreme Court vacancies. Nevertheless, AG Gonzales has what it takes to be on the Supreme Court and would deserve an up-or-down vote and confirmation if nominated. Should the President go with AG Gonzales, count me in as a supporter.

(North Seattle--Green Lake, WA)


  • At 3:00 PM, Anonymous Greg said…

    I just have this to say: No more Souters, O'Connors or Kennedys. And Al sounds like one of them, if he's removed from beyond the realm of political appointments. Concerning the parental consent case, I don't know Texas abortion or family law, but wouldn't you think it's more restrictive than federal law? And precisely because of his Guantanamo and terror involvement, he'll be a rallying cry for liberals to block his nomination. Not popular with anyone, really. No point nominating him. I'd rather have McConnell, who's unpredictable on some things but I know where he stands on life issues.

  • At 3:15 PM, Anonymous Greg said…

    Let me also link this TNR piece that explicitly names Gonzales as more likely to "evolve" than other potential nominees - see bottom:


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