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Stop Alberto

Stephen Hunter ’07 has a new Web site, stopalberto.com. From the page:

Alberto Gonzales has a maladjusted personality that makes him one of the most Machiavellian individuals in our country (in some ways he’s worse than Ashcroft). Unfortunately he is Bush’s Attorney General. However, he could do far more damage as a Supreme Court Justice. We all need to take a few minutes out of our day to donate our time and money to moveon.org or any other progressive group. It is imperative that we StopAlberto before he further ruins this great nation of ours.

Steve, who is from Maine, is coordinating an effort to lobby his senators about this. You may also remember his political page of several months ago, Students Against Bush, which was more extensive but is not online anymore.

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#1 Comment By David On July 11, 2005 @ 8:29 am

Alberto Gonzales is also very low on my list of favorite nominees, but, perhaps for different reasons than Hunter’s.

Is giving money to moveon.org really the best way to fight Gonzales? If you really want any other (plausible) nominee besides Gonzales, then I would urge my friends on the left to praise Gonzales, to start a web site named confirmalberto.com, to sing his praises as another Sandra Day O’Connor.

By the way, is “Machiavellian” necessarily a term of abuse?

#2 Comment By Aidan On July 11, 2005 @ 10:26 am

Edward Whelan, who has been blogging the judicial confirmation issue at BenchMemos for National Review, has a solid argument for why Gonzales shouldn’t be considered for Justice: recusals.

Section 455 has two distinct substantive provisions that are relevant here. Subsection 455(a) provides that a justice “shall disqualify himself in any proceeding in which his impartiality might reasonably be questioned.” Subsection 455(b) provides a set of additional circumstances in which a justice “shall also disqualify himself.” In particular, subsection 455(b)(3) requires that a justice “disqualify himself … [w]here he has served in government employment and in such capacity participated as counsel [or] adviser … concerning the proceeding or expressed an opinion concerning the merits of the particular case in controversy.”

In plain english, these recusal rules would prohibit, ethically, Gonzales from judging any and all legislation that was passed, promulgated, or considered why he was chief White House counsel or Attorney General. Given that this raft of legislation is, to some degree, the Bush legacy, appointing a justice that couldn’t rule on it would be rash, indeed.

#3 Comment By Mike On July 11, 2005 @ 1:20 pm

And people thought we would never have unanimous agreement on Ephblog!

#4 Comment By James McGill On July 14, 2005 @ 10:54 am

If that is the case, let me bust up the unanimity.

The idea here is to have an independant judiciary. If the judges are independant we would expect to see some straying from the respective party lines. In the case of O’Connor, she stayed on the reservation pretty well when it came to the issues where she had an established background (states v. federal interests cases) and was unpredictable on other issues (right to privacy cases).

Thus, the circumstances where the left-most 15% and right-most 15% both distrust and resent a nominee indicate that he may be a good choice after all.