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Gonzales Goes Missing
American Spectator ^ | 03/28/05 | The Prowler

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.


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; Front Page News; Government; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: ashcroft; bush; conservatives; doj; gonzales; laraza; letitrest; mexican; nothisfight; nothisjurisdication; racistcomments; schiavo; senate; specter; subpoenas; terrimania; whitehouse; whitepower
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To: Dog Gone

Heard less than one minute of Sean this afternoon so I cannot cite the context but he was speaking to Jesse Jackson about the Florida legislature and claimed that it was REPUBLICANS at fault for the bill not passing.


51 posted on 03/29/2005 4:56:51 PM PST by OldFriend ("If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my child might have peace." Thomas Paine)
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To: ninenot
The President, (R), could pull a Clinton and send in US Marshalls or the whole damn USMarine Corps.

Yeah, and create a shoot-out between federal forces and local police...brilliant!

The Governor of Florida could send in State Troopers or an activated USARNG unit.

Riiiiight...and turn a nursing home into Dodge City. The Prez & Guv did all they could do short of using armed force. I wanted Terri saved too, but it's the rule of law & not the rule of the gun that's in effect in America.
52 posted on 03/29/2005 4:59:25 PM PST by hispanichoosier
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To: Poohbah
Please quit blaming the courts for not reaching beyond the pleading filed by Gibbs.

And before I forget, to tie this back to the article, why didn't AG Gonzales send a top team to make arguments in the case? I can think of several arguments that no judge could legitimately dismiss as unworthy of scrutiny in a few hours.

Clearly Gonzales didn't want to get involved. It's both fair and right to blast him for it.

53 posted on 03/29/2005 5:00:28 PM PST by edsheppa
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To: edsheppa
It is also painfully clear that neither Congress nor the Administration had the backbone to follow through because of political considerations.

What? You mean the possible deaths of federal agents & local law enforcement officers that would have occurred had the Marshalls and/or Nat'l Guard been called in to seize Terri? I wanted Terri saved but not at the price so many on FR seem to want to pay.
54 posted on 03/29/2005 5:02:10 PM PST by hispanichoosier
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To: ninenot

Don't you all realize that it is the courts that should be interpreting the law and it's applications. It's checks and balances. It's sad that Congress had to intervene, and Gonzalez was just telling them that Congress interfering isn't very legal. Emotions shouldn't overrun sound principles. Hold the judges and courts responsible for bad decisions, not Congress, or the Governor, or the President, because it isn't their fault or even their problem to deal with. We all hate judges who legislate from the bench, so I think the judges (and AG) have every right to hate legislatures judiciating from the capitol.


55 posted on 03/29/2005 5:06:27 PM PST by polyester~monkey
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To: Ingtar
You always have to worry about legal precedent, but I don't think this case has provided any. Hear me out on this.

None of the courts in this case have legislated new "rights" or laws in this case. There may have been some bad findings of FACT, but the courts didn't grant Michael Schiavo any new rights that I can see. The right to remove the tube was created in the Florida code by Florida legislators.

Admittedly, the right to remove the tube was first found by the Florida Supreme Court, but I don't think it was in the Schiavo case. Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong. I was hardly following this case in the late 1990s. It was after that decision that the Florida lawmakers put it into the Code.

After that point, there hasn't been judicial activism that I can discern. We may not like the decisions in this case, but that doesn't make it rise to a precedent.

56 posted on 03/29/2005 5:06:54 PM PST by Dog Gone
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To: OldFriend
Heard less than one minute of Sean this afternoon so I cannot cite the context but he was speaking to Jesse Jackson about the Florida legislature and claimed that it was REPUBLICANS at fault for the bill not passing.

Well, of course. I mean Democrats are jumping all over themselves to help Terri. I mean, we have both Joe Lieberman and Jesse Jackson to name ALL of them.

That's why we should turn against Republicans because they only made special efforts to go as far as they thought they legally could. Why not make them pay?

57 posted on 03/29/2005 5:14:08 PM PST by Dog Gone
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To: ninenot
Already Posted Here: Gonzales (Please check first. Also, you are supposed to use the original title per FR rules)
58 posted on 03/29/2005 5:14:16 PM PST by nickcarraway (I'm Only Alive, Because a Judge Hasn't Ruled I Should Die...)
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To: Dog Gone

Would any of us want to implore our legislators to change the laws taking guardianship away from spouses and giving the right to parents and/or siblings instead?


59 posted on 03/29/2005 5:16:41 PM PST by OldFriend ("If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my child might have peace." Thomas Paine)
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To: ninenot

...he's probably doing valet' parking for the local La Raza meeting.


60 posted on 03/29/2005 6:23:58 PM PST by taxed2death (A few billion here, a few trillion there...we're all friends right?)
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To: hispanichoosier

If you really think that the locals would choose to shoot it out with the USMarshal, or the Marines, you need your Prozac.


61 posted on 03/29/2005 6:41:54 PM PST by ninenot (Minister of Membership, TomasTorquemadaGentlemen'sClub)
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To: ninenot
If you really think that the locals would choose to shoot it out with the USMarshal, or the Marines, you need your Prozac.

Not choose, but who knows what happens when tempers are high and all parties are operating on little sleep?
62 posted on 03/29/2005 6:51:02 PM PST by hispanichoosier
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To: hispanichoosier

Please spare me the hysteria. You expect me to believe that local law enforcement officers would fight to prevent execution of a summons?


63 posted on 03/29/2005 7:32:57 PM PST by edsheppa
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To: ninenot
OK...show of hands. Who didn't see this coming?
64 posted on 03/29/2005 7:34:31 PM PST by B Knotts
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To: hispanichoosier

Nothing would have happened. Cops have an IQ too. And they don't shoot at one another.


65 posted on 03/29/2005 7:38:22 PM PST by international american (Tagline now fireproof....purchased from "Conspiracy Guy Custom Taglines"LLC)
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To: edsheppa

So, allowing the rule of the gun--whether a shootout occurred or local law enforcement backed down--is okay in America now?


66 posted on 03/29/2005 7:40:17 PM PST by hispanichoosier
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To: ninenot

"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.


67 posted on 03/29/2005 9:52:59 PM PST by SausageDog
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To: hispanichoosier

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.


68 posted on 03/29/2005 11:44:44 PM PST by edsheppa
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To: edsheppa
And before I forget, to tie this back to the article, why didn't AG Gonzales send a top team to make arguments in the case?

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.

69 posted on 03/30/2005 4:15:21 AM PST by Poohbah (If it's called "collateral damage," how come I can't use it to secure a loan?)
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To: econ_grad

There's probably a Christian Identity website where they'd love your comment.


70 posted on 03/30/2005 4:23:57 AM PST by mountaineer
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To: ninenot
Excuse me but I seem to remember a few of you Freepers complaining about the prolife Freepers complaints about the new AG. We can see what your opinions were worth.
71 posted on 03/30/2005 5:48:33 AM PST by Mark in the Old South (Sister Lucia of Fatima pray for us)
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To: Mark in the Old South

Excuse me, but I never endorsed Gonzales. NEVER.

I was well aware of his shortcomings (I do subscribe to Human Events...)


72 posted on 03/30/2005 6:16:01 AM PST by ninenot (Minister of Membership, TomasTorquemadaGentlemen'sClub)
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To: Poohbah; Dog Gone; Long Cut; Howlin

They just have to be typed up by someone... :)


73 posted on 03/30/2005 7:02:00 AM PST by hchutch ("But, Rally, they're SMOKE GRENADES.")
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To: Poohbah
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
Anytime, anywhere,
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)


74 posted on 03/30/2005 7:13:41 AM PST by 1rudeboy
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To: ninenot
I was not referring to you. I was addressing the general Free Republic community. You were the one who posted so I figured you did not approve of him, but the "you" I was referring was a plural you not singular.
75 posted on 03/30/2005 7:56:38 AM PST by Mark in the Old South (Sister Lucia of Fatima pray for us)
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To: Poohbah
Second, a top team volunteered to help the Schindlers. They turned them down flat.

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.

76 posted on 03/30/2005 8:33:34 AM PST by edsheppa
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Comment #77 Removed by Moderator

To: econ_grad

That really is the lamest comeback since George Costanza said, "Oh yeah? Well the jerk store called and they're out of you!"


78 posted on 03/30/2005 8:40:47 AM PST by mountaineer
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To: mountaineer

Yours was pretty lame yourself.


79 posted on 03/30/2005 8:41:59 AM PST by econ_grad
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To: Theodore R.
"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 was actually putting roadblocks in front of those trying to save Terri.

80 posted on 03/30/2005 8:46:11 AM PST by azhenfud ("He who is always looking up seldom finds others' lost change...")
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To: econ_grad

Please, no profanity, no personal attacks, no racism or violence in posts. Thank you.


81 posted on 03/30/2005 8:47:14 AM PST by Sidebar Moderator
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To: Sidebar Moderator

What did I say that would fall in any of those categories? I meant no disrespect to people who are ill.


82 posted on 03/30/2005 8:56:00 AM PST by econ_grad
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To: Dog Gone
I agree with you statement on the motivations of the Republicans. However, I want to see the free and open discussion continue. Hopefully, many will be able to re channel their emotion to political action to help place judges on the bench who respect the law and the constitution. That is the real issue. I truly feel sorry for Terri S and her parents. Her fate is a legal issue and trying to politicize it (further) at this late date will not work.
83 posted on 03/30/2005 9:02:48 AM PST by RedEyeJack
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To: Mark in the Old South

Well, the Libertarians are out in force on this thread--see posts immediately surrounding #75.

THEY like Gonzales.


84 posted on 03/30/2005 9:03:28 AM PST by ninenot (Minister of Membership, TomasTorquemadaGentlemen'sClub)
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To: LauraleeBraswell
Everyone knows he's the token "Latina" Republican.....

_________________________________

C'mon Gidget, does this mean that Rice is the token Black?

85 posted on 03/30/2005 9:05:12 AM PST by wtc911 ("I would like at least to know his name.")
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To: wtc911
No! Condoleeza is an amazingly qualified person! She really is my role model. She has all the credentials and experience and is probably the best qualified hands on secretary of state this country has had yet. I could write a report about her right now. She is amazing. As for Gonzalas, he is a token.
86 posted on 03/30/2005 10:48:52 AM PST by LauraleeBraswell ( CONSERVATIVE FIRST-Republican second.)
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To: kenth
Then it's a shame that he and so many others conveniently forget about individual rights.

Not at all. Gonzales is for "individual rights" for those that he thinks deserves them: that does not include Terri Schindler. He will be as useless on "life" issues as was his predecessors.

87 posted on 03/30/2005 1:10:16 PM PST by Theodore R. (Cowardice is forever!)
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To: LauraleeBraswell

I don't know much Spanish (except what I learn when my daughter watches Dora) You refered to him as a "Latina" should that not be "Latino" (mascline)


88 posted on 03/30/2005 1:30:06 PM PST by KansasConservative1
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To: ninenot
By most accounts, Gonzales and his team fared poorly, at least from Republican viewpoints.

He's been busy attending La Raza dinners honoring him. Be patient and give him a chance to get around to the "Anglo" issues.

89 posted on 03/30/2005 1:55:01 PM PST by spodefly (This is my tag line. There are many like it, but this one is mine.)
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To: Fester Chugabrew
We should not expect the AG to be about crafting some perfect, legal excuse for protecting and preserving innocent life"""

Why not? Maybe not in a Democratic administration, but a Republican AG should have helped with this effort to save Terri.

90 posted on 03/30/2005 1:59:40 PM PST by churchillbuff
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To: ninenot

Maybe Gonzales was too busy investigating Sandy Berger. Remember him? He was the dude caught red-handed stuffing classified documents down his pants at the National Archives!!!!! How sweet swift justice is......


91 posted on 03/30/2005 2:02:21 PM PST by eeriegeno
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To: churchillbuff
Why not?

Because it should be a given for all concerned.

92 posted on 03/30/2005 2:41:56 PM PST by Fester Chugabrew
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To: eeriegeno
Maybe Gonzales was too busy investigating Sandy Berger

...or the missing FBI files, or illegal HRC fundraising, or X42's Red China cash pipeline to his campaigns..

Never mind!

GWB doesn't want those things investigated.

And you can see the results of those investigations, right?

93 posted on 03/30/2005 2:52:09 PM PST by ninenot (Minister of Membership, TomasTorquemadaGentlemen'sClub)
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