Monday, July 04, 2005

Thorny Path to Court for Gonzales

Although the only man who nominates judges has openly shown interest in sending him to the Supreme Court, Alberto Gonzales is probably growing increasingly pessimistic about his chances to replace Justice Sandra Day O'Connor. The reason is not related to the strong opposition he faced from Senate Democrats during his confirmation to be the U.S attorney general. The infamous memo he sent detailing interrogation methods that drew scathing criticism from Senator Joe Biden, the ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, has nothing to do with his doubts.
Curiously, what seems to be blocking Gonzales' chances at the Court is doubts from conservatives, not liberals. Already conservative interests groups have sent delegations to the White House protesting what they see as a dangerous interest of the President's. Leading conservatives such as Phyllis Schlafly, The National Taxpayers Union, and the National Review have all expressed some form of cynicism about his potential nomination.
To many conservatives, Gonzales displayed questionable views on affirmative action and most importantly, abortion, during his tenure on the Texas Supreme Court. It seems that while he was on the court, Gonzales was rather liberal in granting permission to pregnant minors to forego the state mandated process of getting permission from their parents to receive an abortion. However, the court's policy was to allow this only if parental notification would put the specific minor at "risk of abuse".
However, any sign of waffling on the abortion issue is sure to ignite strong opposition from the right wing of the Republican Party. Republicans are already weary of "appeasement" in the form of Anthony Kennedy and David Souter, the former having served as a swing vote and the latter having served as a reliable liberal.


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