The Lonely Centrist

A place for reasoned debate about the issues of the day.

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Sunday, July 10, 2005

My friend Alberto

Should Alberto Gonzalez be appointed to the Supreme Court? Mr. Gonzalez is obviously a very talented man, but his career has mainly consisted of a series of brief stays in jobs to which he was appointed by Governor and then President Bush, including a brief stay on the Texas Supreme Court, which is his only experience as a judge. The two most noted qualifications he brings to the job are that he is Hispanic, and that the President likes him a great deal.

These are not trivial qualifications, but if the President wants to appoint the first Hispanic justice, there are several candidates with superior qualifications on paper, including Judge Emilio Garza of the Circuit , and a name that has not been mentioned much if at all, the Chief Judge of the 6th Circuit, Judge Danny Boggs. And while the President should appoint people whose judgements he trusts, this President seems to view his personal relationship to Gonzalez as something of a trump card. Should it be?

In Federalist #76, Alexander Hamilton argues that one of the primary purposes of the "advise and consent" clause is to prevent cronyism - that is, to prevent the President from filling the ranks of government with someone "who had no other merit than that... of being personally allied to him." I wouldn't go so far as to say Gonzalez has no other merit - he has a great deal of merit, and indeed he may well be a great justice. But the question almost begs to be asked.

I see here that Redstate beat me to it on this one by a mile.

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