Skip to comments.Gonzales Goes Missing
Posted on 03/29/2005 3:30:56 PM PST by ninenot
The White House was "troubled," according to one source, about the reported actions -- or inactions -- of the Justice Department last week as Republicans in Congress made a last ditch attempt to rescue Terri Schiavo.
"You actually had Arlen Specter and his Judiciary Committee out there trying to save this woman's life, and then you have Alberto Gonzales and his crew over at Justice basically putting up roadblocks," says a White House staffer. "This was not a good way for Gonzales to start his tenure there."
Gonzales has been on the job at Justice for a little over two months now, and the congressional attempts to restore the feeding tube to Schiavo was the new AG's first high-profile foray into the politics that swirl around the Justice Department.
By most accounts, Gonzales and his team fared poorly, at least from Republican viewpoints. "Instead of trying to work with us, all we got were no's and roadblocks, with little guidance on what we could do and could not do," says a House leadership staffer who spoke often with the Justice Department's Legislative Affairs office. "They weren't being helpful, and they sure weren't doing the White House any favors."
Ultimately, both the House and the Senate passed -- and President Bush signed -- legislation designed to give Schiavo's parents their best shot at having a federal court overrule the rulings of Florida state courts. Those federal filings ultimately failed.
Before the legislation, the Senate Judiciary Committee -- with Specter's approval -- and House Republicans attempted to subpoena Terri Schiavo, a political maneuver that won plaudits from a number of conservative groups around the country, but which received a thumbs-down the Department of Justice. "The Justice Department pushed us hard to withdraw the subpoena idea," says the House staffer. "We told them that the White House knew about this, and that they tacitly approved. It didn't seem to matter to DOJ. Gonzales and his folks just made things harder for us."
"If the White House was hoping that Gonzales might be able to burnish his image for conservatives leading up to a Supreme Court nomination, the Schiavo case tarnished it pretty badly," says a staffer for a Senator who was pushing hard for the subpoena solution. "I'll say this, every conservative up here was wishing [former Attorney General John] Ashcroft was still there."
To be fair to Gonzalez, Ashcroft's presence at Justice probably would not have made much difference. Ashcroft was excoriated by conservatives on his leaving office for what they said were his failures to press for tough stands against pornography, human trafficking and abortion rights, while not pressing hard enough for faith-based programs.
Another Senate staffer says her impression of the Justice Department's role in the Schiavo case is more benign. "They were giving us straight legal analysis from the federal perspective, nothing more, which is probably what has a lot of people up in arms, and it was all behind the scenes. These folks wanted Gonzales out front, making it appear this was an issue he cared about. That didn't happen," says the staffer. "But I don't think anyone can dispute that the legal advice they gave us wasn't sound. They just didn't help us get to where we wanted to be."
And for failing to do that, many Republicans in the House and the Senate say that Gonzales has failed the first litmus test on the conservative scorecard.
If you really think that the locals would choose to shoot it out with the USMarshal, or the Marines, you need your Prozac.
Please spare me the hysteria. You expect me to believe that local law enforcement officers would fight to prevent execution of a summons?
Nothing would have happened. Cops have an IQ too. And they don't shoot at one another.
So, allowing the rule of the gun--whether a shootout occurred or local law enforcement backed down--is okay in America now?
"Most of us recall that Gonzales was no hero on the life issues during his term as a Texas judge."
What an understatement. He was a screeching, screaming, howling pro-abort.
Don't put words in my mouth. What's OK in America is the rule of law. Local law enforcement would not oppose federal officials executing a legal summons to appear before congress.
First, I didn't realize that the US government's role was to act as an advocate for specific private plaintiffs in civil cases. Where in the Constitution do you find that?
Second, a top team volunteered to help the Schindlers. They turned them down flat.
There's probably a Christian Identity website where they'd love your comment.
Excuse me, but I never endorsed Gonzales. NEVER.
I was well aware of his shortcomings (I do subscribe to Human Events...)
They just have to be typed up by someone... :)
Yet law-abiding scholars write:
Law is neither wrong nor right,
Law is only crimes
Punished by places and by times,
Law is the clothes men wear
Law is Good morning and Good night.
Others say, Law is our Fate;
Others say, Law is our State;
Others say, others say
Law is no more,
Law has gone away.
And always the loud angry crowd,
Very angry and very loud,
Law is We,
And always the soft idiot softly Me.
W.H. Auden (excerpt)
Didn't know that. Who?
As for the other, it is certainly not uncommon for the federal government (state governments too) to enter briefs in cases to which they are not a party. In fact, I'd say they have a duty to if there are public interests at stake as in this case.
That really is the lamest comeback since George Costanza said, "Oh yeah? Well the jerk store called and they're out of you!"
Yours was pretty lame yourself.
Gonzales was actually putting roadblocks in front of those trying to save Terri.
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