Thursday, July 07, 2005

Why Bush Won't Appoint Gonzales

A rare Paleoevangelical prediction arises from a Tuesday WSJ Review and Outlook column.
Mr. Bush has often said he'd like to appoint a Hispanic to the Court, and there are several fine candidates, including Miguel Estrada, whose nomination to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals was filibustered during Mr. Bush's first Administration. As a war President, Mr. Bush will also want someone who has a healthy respect for executive power in fighting terrorism--such as the Fourth Circuit's J. Harvie Wilkinson. This argues against Mr. Gonzales who, as former White House counsel and now head of the Justice Department, would have to recuse himself from most if not all of the war-on-terror cases. A series of 4-4 rulings would be bad for the country on what promises to be a fundamental legal debate in the coming years and could be a matter of national survival.
If I'm right, we won't get Gonzales since he could not vote to uphold the President's national security objectives and strategies, not because the President has substantial concerns with his willingness as a Texas judge to create rights that have nothing to do with the Constitution and actually abolish the rights of the unborn. Or perhaps I'll be right that he will not be appointed but wrong on the President's decision-making process. And then there's the slim possibility that I could be wrong and Gonzales will be appointed in 5 minutes.

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