by Steven Ertelt
June 27, 2005
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — The latest buzz around Washington in the potential battle over a nominee to the Supreme Court revolves around Attorney General Alberto Gonzales. Pro-life advocates are concerned that President Bush, who has a solid track record in appointing pro-life judges, could be considering him for a seat on the top court.
In an opinion column Monday, syndicated columnist Bob Novak reports that the "normally leak-proof Bush White House" may have signaled the president’s hand to some by suggesting Gonzales could be the first pick Bush has in mind.
Gonzales has been a thorn in the side for the pro-life movement because of his decisions while he was a member of the Texas Supreme Court.
As a member of the Texas Supreme Court, Gonzales voted to allow a handful of teenagers to use the judicial bypass of the state’s parental notification law to obtain an abortion. That provision allows teens in abusive home situations to avoid telling their parents and have an abortion.
That makes pro-life advocates very wary that Gonzales could be another vote in favor of Roe v. Wade and keeping abortion legal. But, others disagree.
Ramesh Ponnuru, the pro-life senior editor of National Review, examined the parental notification cases in which Gonzales authorized abortions.
"My conclusion was that while the dissenters had the better argument about how to construe the statute, the cases do not prove Gonzales to be a lawless judge, a supporter of Roe v. Wade, or even a proponent of a right to abortion," Ponnuru said.
Regardless of the interpretation of Gonzales’ decisions, Novak reports that it may be a moot point.
He says the mention of Gonzales’ name "looks like a trial balloon," in which case Bush could gauge the negative reaction from pro-life advocates and settle on another more acceptable nominee. Novak also speculates that "Gonzales’ name has been floated by critics in order to shoot him down."
While some speculate that Gonzales will have an easier time being confirmed, since he’s been through the confirmation process once, Novak says, "The president must choose between a fierce confirmation fight or the alienation of his political base."
If Gonzales is not the top pick, every other leading contender the president is reportedly considering is pro-life and most have a judicial track record backing up those views.