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Nov 10, 2004

It's Official
Alberto Gonzales is our new Attorney General. There is still a good deal of controversy surrounding Gonzales and some of the things he has said, but until I see otherwise, I will stand by my position that he was a better choice than our other option for the position. Cross your fingers everyone!
posted by Ty @ 11/10/2004 | 2 comments
Some Good News
John Ashcroft is outta there!! And his replacement will be named today. One of the top picks is someone I can definitely live with. He has been touted in the past as a likely possibility for the Supreme Court, but today everyone seems to think White House Counsel, Alberto Gonzales, might just be the next Attorney General. He's a Texan, and spent time in the political arena here as Texas Secretary of State and on the Texas Supreme Court, before Bush asked him to be his White House Counsel in Washington. He is only 47, and is considered a MODERATE Republican! Finally! There aren't too many articles out there on him. He seems to have stayed under the radar, except for a period where it looked like one or two of the Supreme Court Justices might step down about a year or two ago. There were several articles written at that time, and they seem to suggest he is truly moderate. For instance, one article says the following:

Courts have not immediately overturned any of Bush's major decisions, but Gonzales acknowledges that could eventually happen.

"We do believe very strongly in the protection of civil liberties, but there is a competing interest of the protection of the national security of this country," Gonzales said. "The key for the government is to try to find the appropriate balance. We think we find that. But ultimately, quite frankly, it is going to be up to the courts to tell us if we've made the right decision."

His acknoledgement of the value of checks and balances is followed by this:

A note of considerable drama has been added to Gonzales's prospects for the high court by the objections of several powerful conservatives, including some high-level officials in the Justice Department.

These critics, some of whom have expressed their reservations to the White House privately, regard Gonzales as insufficiently conservative, or at least they are suspicious about how committed he is to their most important issues, including the elimination of affirmative action.

"The Judge [Gonzales] follows the model of treating the president as his client," an associate said. "He is not as conservative as a lot of the people around Bush, but Bush is not as conservative as some of the people around him."

Conservative Rebulicans don't like him...perfect.

And finally, the article says this:

The conservatives' biggest complaint is that in 2000, Gonzales voted with the majority of the Texas Supreme Court to narrowly construe a law Bush had championed requiring a minor to get parental permission before an abortion. Opponents of the decision contended it would make it easier for girls to qualify for exceptions to the law.

Steven J. Goode, a law professor at the University of Texas, said Gonzales was "a middle-of-the-road conservative who was less disposed toward business interests than the more conservative members of the court."

White House officials said that in addition to serving as a moderating influence in the affirmative action case, Gonzales played a similar role during debate over the status of captured combatants at Guantanamo Bay Naval Base in Cuba who had fought for Afghanistan's Taliban. The administration initially made a blanket decision to deny them prisoner-of-war status, which would have left them unprotected by the Geneva Conventions.

"That bothered the Judge," said a person involved in the case. "He was in favor of giving more weight to the principles of international humanitarian law." Protests about the decision flowed in from around the world, and Bush softened his view, declaring that the principles of the Geneva Conventions would apply.

I can certainly live with a Moderate Republican. It would be silly to think that Bush would ever appoint a Democrat to the Attorney General position, and the other alternative is a Consevative Rebulican, so I will sit quite happily with a Moderate Republican who is uneasy about parental notification for abortions and lack of civil liberties for detainees.

A Moderate Republican who has been a long time friend of the president could hold significant power in a position like the Attorney General and be able to rein in some of Bush's most conservative viewpoints. Such a person in the Attorney General position could satisfy most Democrats as well. Perhaps this will be a trend for Bush's new administration. A more middle of the road cabinet could do a lot to ease Liberals' concerns and could take some pressure off of this almost violently polarized country by appeasing both sides.

Update: I had said Gonzales was 47 years old. I was mistaken. He is now 49 years old.
posted by Ty @ 11/10/2004 | 2 comments