Q&A Friday 35: What About A Gonzales Pick For Another Vacancy On The Supreme Court?
Question: “If another seat were to open up on the Supreme Court, how would you feel about an Alberto Gonzales nomination? I know you’ve made it clear in the past that you wouldn’t be thrilled with the prospect, but would you be so outraged at the choice that you would want the nomination withdrawn, or would it simply be another disappointment in your view?” — maledicta
“Wouldn’t Gonzales be another “crony” pick like Miers? If you recall, that was a primary objection to Miers. I suspect John would, quite consistently, object for the same reasons.
That said, after Miers, it’s entirely possible someone will suddenly ask about some “pet” judges of theirs around the time the opening becomes known. Maybe here, maybe at other big conservative blogs, maybe if they’re really daring, Volokh. Probable? No, it’s too close to a leak for Bush, even if the source is presumed to be Joe Citizen…” — Compiled
Answer: Selecting Gonzales would be the biggest POLITICAL mistake since Truman fired MacArthur, especially after the Miers debacle and Alito’s confirmation.
Why pick a nominee who’s going to be widely and bitterly opposed by a large portion of your base when there are probably a dozen better candidates out there, if not more, who would thrill conservatives and would probably be confirmed just as easily as Alito was in the end?
As far as calling for Gonzales to be withdrawn goes, I think chances are that it wouldn’t work. Yes, Gonzales is also a Bush crony, but since he has served on the Supreme Court of Texas, you can’t credibly make the case that he isn’t qualified to be on the SCOTUS. But again, even if Bush got Gonzales confirmed, it would create so much antagonism between W. and the base, that it would be a pyrrhic victory that would haunt him until the end of his presidency.