Thursday, November 11, 2004
ALBERTO GONZALES: TOO LIBERAL FOR THE SUPREME COURT
but just fine as AG? This is, according to Ryan Lizza, what the Bush Administration thinks:
Given the right's hostility to Gonzales, it might be tempting to interpret his nomination yesterday to run the Justice Department as a sign that Bush is going to start elevating moderates to key posts. After all, Gonzales is less polarizing and less conservative than Ashcroft. But the appointment probably signals the opposite. Conservatives seem to have vetoed Bush's first choice for the Supreme Court, and instead of a lifetime appointment to the bench, Gonzales gets the consolation prize of a few years as attorney general. This may appear to be the first post-election loss for members of the religious right. In fact, it is their first post-election victory.I suppose this might be possibly be true, but the reasoning seems too clever by half.
To be sure, it would be possible for Gonzales to use the Justice Department as a stepping stone to the Supreme Court. But it's doubtful that this is what Bush has in mind. With Chief Justice William Rehnquist ailing, a Court vacancy could open in a matter of months; and it would hardly make sense to appoint someone attorney general with the intention of almost instantly turning around and nominating him for the Supreme Court.