Supreme Court Pick of Alberto Gonzales OK, Top Democrat Says

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jul 6, 2005   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Supreme Court Pick of Alberto Gonzales OK, Top Democrat Says Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
July 6, 2005

Washington, DC ( — Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid on Wednesday said he would be fine with President Bush selecting Attorney General Alberto Gonzales to replace outgoing pro-abortion Justice Sandra Day O’Connor. Reid also took pro-life groups to task for criticizing Gonzales’ record on abortion.

Reid said Gonzales is qualified, though he admitted he might not have "an easy way through" Senate confirmation.

"Alberto Gonzales is qualified. He’s attorney general of the United States and a former Texas judge," Reid said. "But having said that he’s qualified, I don’t know if he’d have an easy way through."

For his nomination for the top attorney spot in the Bush administration, the Senate voted for him on a 60-36 mostly party line vote. Five Democrats joined Republicans in approving his nomination at that time.

The top Democrat in the Senate, Reid bashed pro-life organizations for bringing up their concerns with a Gonzales nomination.

"It’s too bad the president has to respond in Denmark about statements from the far right," Reid said, adding that critics "have gone a little too far."

Pro-life advocates have been very vocal in the days since O’Connor’s retirement announcement about their concern with Gonzales’ abortion views.

The Attorney General is coming under fire because, as a Texas Supreme Court justice, he ruled in favor of teenagers getting abortions in a handful of cases. The rulings allowed the teens to use the judicial bypass provision in Texas’ parental notification law, normally meant for abusive home situations.

As a result, pro-life groups are worried that Gonzales, if picked for the high court, will be another Republican appointee, like O’Connor, David Souter and others, who will rule in favor of legalized abortion.

For more on a possible Gonzales nomination, see Early Supreme Court Debate Focuses on Gonzales and Abortion.