Many pro-family groups are looking forward to working with Attorney General nominee Alberto Gonzales, but one pro-life group is not pleased with President Bushs pick, saying Gonzales record shows him to be a supporter of abortion.
Gonzales, the White House counsel, would succeed John Ashcroft as the first Hispanic Attorney General. When Bush was governor of Texas, Gonzales served as his close advisor as a general counsel for three years and later as Texas secretary of state. In 1999, he was appointed as a justice of the Supreme Court of Texas.
Judie Brown, president of American Life League, said, "President Bush appears to be doing all that he can to downright ignore pro-life principles. There can be no other explanation for his recommendation of Alberto Gonzales as attorney general. Gonzales has a record, and that record is crystal clear.
It was during his time as a Texas Supreme Court justice when Gonzales made a ruling that put him at odds with pro-life groups. He allowed a teenager to get an abortion without notifying her parents despite the states notification law.
Brown referred to a 2001 Los Angeles Times in which Gonzales said his own personal feelings about abortion dont matter. Instead, Gonzales said in the article, the question is, what is the law, what is the precedent, what is binding in rendering your decision. Sometimes, interpreting a statute, you may have to uphold a statute that you may find personally offensive. But as a judge, that's your job.
"Gonzales' rulings implied he does not view abortion as a heinous crime, commented Brown. Choosing not to rule against abortion, in any situation, is the epitome of denying justice for an entire segment of the American population -- preborn babies in the womb.
She continued, "President Bush claims he wants to assist in bringing about a culture of life. Such a culture begins with total protection for every innocent human being from the moment that person's life begins.
This week, Brown issued a statement calling the president to adopt a true pro-life position by issuing a Personhood Proclamation, similar to the one made by President Reagan in 1988. The proclamation would recognize personhood in each individual from conception until natural death.
The ALL president also voiced her objection to the Presidents silence on presumptive chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Sen. Arlen Specter, whose post-election remarks were interpreted as warnings to Bush that pro-life judicial nominees would not pass the Senate.
Not all groups with pro-life stances disagree with Bushs choice for Attorney General.
Pro-family and religious conservative groups including Focus on the Family, Christian Coalition, Family Research Council, and American Center for Law and Justice have expressed optimism toward Gonzales.
"We know the great personal regard President Bush has for Mr. Gonzales, and we wish him well in his challenging new assignment," Tom Minnery of Focus on the Family Action said in a Nov. 10 statement.
"It will now be Mr. Gonzalez's duty to defend the Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act against the federal court challenges that have blocked its implementation a duty handled admirably by Attorney General Ashcroft. American families will also look to Mr. Gonzalez to aggressively prosecute obscenity cases against pornographers who continue to flout federal law."
Jay Sekulow, Chief Counsel of the American Center for Law and Justice, resonated a similar response.
"Alberto Gonzales is an outstanding attorney, he said. He will bring a wealth of experience to the post and a keen understanding of the law that will enable him to excel as the nation's chief law enforcement officer.
"Gonzales has been with the president for many years and served on the Texas Supreme Court. He will be an attorney general who will work diligently to protect America, the Constitution and the rule of law. During this dangerous time for our nation, Gonzales is the perfect person for this demanding job, concluded Sekulow.