When outgoing Alberto Gonzales testified before Congress in his January 2005 Senate confirmation hearing, he claimed that if confirmed, he would be Attorney General for not “only the White House,” but also “the United States of America and its people“:
With the consent of the Senate, I will no longer represent only the White House; I will represent the United States of America and its people. I understand the differences between the two roles.Gonzales completely failed to follow through on his pledge. When the Bush administration nominates the next Attorney General, the Senate must make sure that he or she not only says they are independent, but actually acts that way. Here’s the test for the next nominee: Alberto Gonzales answered yes to the following questions, would you have said “no”?
- Would you have said “no” to Bush’s warrantless wiretapping?
- Would you have said “no” to legalizing torture?
- Would you have said “no” to the partisan firings of U.S. attorneys?
- Would you have said “no” to the politicization of the Justice Department?
- Would you have said “no” to Bush’s abuse of Presidential signing statements?
UPDATE: Former Solicitor General Ted Olson “has emerged as a top contender to replace” Alberto Gonzales. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) said today: “Ted Olson will not be confirmed.” “He’s a partisan, and the last thing we need as an attorney general is a partisan,” Reid explained. Democrats, including current Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT), indicated they would mount strong challenges to Olson if Bush nominates him. “He is certainly not a consensus nominee,” said Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY). “He has a very political background.”