According to this article, White House counsel Alberto Gonzales is the leading candidate to replace John Ashcroft as Attorney General.
This column by Robert Novak, written in January 2003, suggests that Gonzales is no friend of conservatives. An excerpt:
Gonzales’s views on affirmative action became widely known in Washington last year when, at a meeting of the conservative Federalist Society, he announced his support of preferences….
[When he served on the Texas Supreme Court, he] had pulled the Texas court leftward, including decisions favorable to trial lawyers on tort cases. What most disturbed conservatives was his majority opinion invalidating a statute requiring parental notification of abortion by a minor. Democratic senators who last year blocked confirmation of Texas Supreme Court Justice Priscilla Owen as a federal appellate judge repeatedly cited Gonzales’s attack on her minority opinion as an “unconscionable act of judicial activism.”
That alone led prominent Catholic conservatives and other foes of abortion to inform the White House that Gonzales is unacceptable for the high court.
Update: Over at The Corner, Roger Clegg writes:
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The problem with Al Gonzales as AG is his failure to oppose racial preferences. He played a critical role in watering down the administration’s briefs in the University of Michigan cases, and generally has the reputation for being a squish on this issue. The Dems will try to extract promises during the hearings that he will continue this lackluster record; Republicans should push him to mend his ways. Specter will join the Dems.
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