« Re: Democrats Must Abandon the War on Terror (MyDD) | Main | Re: Ohio election challenge (Portland Tribune) »

January 07, 2005

Reject Gonzales nomination

To Senator Ron Wyden

To Senator Gordon Smith

I was dismayed by Alberto Gonzales' testimony in his Senate nomination hearings to be Attorney General: he lacked candor and demonstrated a poor grasp of the Constitution he is supposed to uphold for us all.

Among numerous points, I highlight two.

First, he was asked about his position on the constitutionality of the filibuster, which he said he had discussed in an earlier meeting with at least one of the Senators and about which Gonzales was going to think.  But by the hearing he hadn't; he said he'd have to check his copy of the Constitution.  (He's just stalling.)

But it's no mystery: I'm no lawyer and I knew the answer and it isn't hard to find.  Treaties require 2/3 vote; on  appointments, the Constitution doesn't say.  Elsewhere the Constitution says each house shall make its own rules.  The filibuster is a legal and constitutional rule established by the Senate for its operation.  It is constitutional.  This issue had been raised to him in preparation for the hearing but rather than come prepared, he choose to be evasive.  He lacked candor in the exchange and gave a completely political answer.

Second, on the issue of presidential authorization of torture and the memo Gonzales was a key party in.  There are lots of other laws and treaties we've signed that outlaw torture in addition to the Geneva Conventions.  But the fundamental constitutional issue is that which claimed for the president: the unfettered right to do whatever he wanted as command-in-chief.  (And again, he ducked this direct questions of the Senate in spite of the fact he'd spent a great deal of time studying the issue.)

Yet again, this assertion is not in fact a valid constitutional claim: the  Constitution says the president shall be the command in chief, but doesn't delineate the responsibilities or authority that yieds.  However the Constitution says explicitly that the congress shall the power to regulate the armed forces.  Thus our laws or treaties that say they can't use torture, or any other law or treaty regulating the armed forces is constitutional and to do otherwise would be an illegal act by the president.

Gonzales has demonstrated great loyalty to President Bush but little to upholding the Constitution.  Combining that with his obvious evasion of direct questions pertinent to his suitability as Attorney General, he is unqualified and I urge you to reject his nomination.

Technorati Tags: , , , , , , , ,


The comments to this entry are closed.

September 2011

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
        1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28 29 30  

Campaigns I Support

About Progressive Viewpoints