Plays Well With Others...
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."
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.
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.
Update: I had said Gonzales was 47 years old. I was mistaken. He is now 49 years old.