From an interview with North Dakota Senator Kent Conrad:
WASHINGTON IS FILLED WITH RUMORS OVER THE FUTURE OF THE SUPREME COURT. IN THE DEMOCRATIC CAMP, LEADERS SAY THEY KNOW THE PRESIDENT’S NOMINEE WILL BE A CONSERVATIVE. BUT THEY WANT TO MAKE SURE HE’S AS CLOSE TO THE CENTER AS POSSIBLE.
Sen. Kent Conrad\(D) North Dakota: “I encourage the President to send forward a mainstream, well-respected jurist who can command majority support, and I don’t mean a narrow majority, but a strong majority, I think this is an opportunity for the President to bring the country together, to be a uniter, not a divider.”
IT’S ANYBODY’S GUESS WHO THE NOMINEE WILL BE. DOZENS OF NAMES HAVE BEEN TOSSED AROUND, BUT DEMOCRATS IN THE SENATE HAVE BEEN VOICING THEIR SUPPORT FOR ONE IN PARTICULAR.
Sen. Kent Conrad\(D) North Dakota: “I would make one recommendation to him specifically- if he would name the Attorney General of the United States to the court, I believe he would enjoy very broad support, would get at least 70, perhaps 80 votes in the United States Senate.”
That’s all well and good, except for the fact that Conrad voted against Gonzalez’s appointment as Attorney General. In fact, most of the Senate Democrats voted against Gonzalez for Attorney General.
So why would Gonzalez get such widespread support for a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court when he didn’t get nearly as much support for a four-year stint as Attorney General?
If you ask me its because the Democrats view Gonzalez as being the lesser of two evils. Gonzalez, on some prime issues like abortion and affirmative action, leans to the left. He’s much more “liberal” than just about any other person Bush is likely to tap. Plus, the Dems know that the President really likes Gonzalez. If the Democrats can convince Bush that he could avoid a protracted nomination battle by sending Gonzalez up he just might go for it instead of choosing a better candidate.
That is, somebody who’s more likely to rule based on the original intent of the Constitution.
Rob Port is the owner and operator of Say Anything.