JURIST Digital Scholars
Balkin [Yale]: The Gonzales Nomination
Balkin [Yale]: The Gonzales Nomination

Jack Balkin, Yale Law School:

"There are two reasons why Bush might have nominated Gonzales to be Attorney General. The first is that he is grooming him for a further appointment to the Supreme Court. The second is that he never plans to appoint him but wants to send a strong signal that he might.

Gonzales is not a doctrinaire conservative. He is a loyal servant and friend to the President. He is a team player. It is unclear what his deepest moral convictions are. But however fine a fellow he is, he has done something that is, in my mind, inexcusable. He commissioned and put his name on a series of despicable legal memos that justified torture and prisoner abuse and that tried to avoid America's obligations under international law. In ordinary times, this would in itself be disqualifying. But, alas, these are not ordinary times.

It is time for those who think the Bush Administration has gone too far to stand up to the President, to make the legal case against his Administration's policies and appointments. For years conservatives railed against judicial activism. It is time for liberals to start railing against government officials– including judges– who show disrespect for basic Rule of Law values, who flout basic protections of American constitutional law and international human rights law, and who seek to concentate ever greater power in an unaccountable executive…." [November 10, 2004; Balkanization has more]

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