7/01/2005

Gonzales for SCOTUS: the perfect is the enemy of the good...

It's a shame justice Sandra Day O'Connor is retiring. I always thought she would have made a fine Chief Justice. As one of the most interesting and articulate justices on the court, she will leave a huge vacuum to be filled.

Why not fill it with Gonzales?

To be honest, I think that perhaps it would be an overall good thing if President Bush nominates Gonzales to replace her. The far right hates Gonzales for being pro-choice. Gonzales' authorship of the torture memos is deeply troubling, but contesting his nomination and the threat of the filibuster makes little strategic sense for Democrats. Far better to reserve that for when Rehnquist retires and a anti-Roe justice is nominated. And inevitable GOP charges of Democrat obstruction and cries of "Bork!" would be much harder to sell if Gonzales is given a free path.

Gonzales would at worst be conservative-moderate, and given that Justices Souter and Kennedy have hardly been threats to the Republic, I don't think that Gonzales would singlehandedly destroy us. He might even do less harm from SCOTUS than as AG.

3 comments:

Thomas Nephew said...

I'd want Democrats to filibuster Gonzales, too -- no need to "reserve" what should be a perfect right anyway. If a Supreme Court nomination isn't an 'extraordinary circumstance,' I don't know what is. And torture is not less of a critical subject than abortion.

Bush has to do better than Gonzales.

Aziz Poonawalla said...

I agree that filibustering is not ideally speaking a limited resource, but pragmatically speaking, it is. I am not convinved that Gonzales' torture memos authorship would neccessarily mean the same threat. I mean, SCOTUS addresses these issues from a different perspective than does the AG in teh Executive Branch. Is there a scenario you could construct - a realstic one - that would demonsrate how Gonzales would be a threat?

Also, keep in mind that as a SCOTUS justice, Gonzales would not be bound to anyone. As AG, he did what he did for his boss. Thees a different dynamic at work.

Thomas Nephew said...

I think Gonzales would seek and follow a new boss on the Supreme Court, he went along to get along all his career.

I don't know what your parameters for a realistic scenario are, but if you can elaborately defend torture in one job, I think it's likely you can in another.