Reading Elizabeth Bumiller’s latest about how the Bush administration is gunning for diversity in its next Supreme Court pick reminds me of a question I’ve been meaning to ask: Even setting the much-discussed abortion angle aside, wouldn’t an Alberto Gonzales appointment cause serious, serious hassles for the administration? The Court, after all, will soon be hearing various cases concerning the president’s wartime authority, like, for instance, Hamdan v. Rumsfeld—on whether the Geneva Conventions apply to suspected terrorists, on what sort of military commissions can try those suspects, etc. Roberts, as we know, didn’t recuse himself from the D.C. Circuit Court’s decision on this case (in favor of the administration) in July, which he probably should have done, but he’d certainly have to recuse himself, I assume, from the Supreme Court rematch. As would Gonzales, for obvious reasons.
Um, so that leaves a key case concerning Bush’s “wartime” authority in the hands of Souter, Breyer, Ginsburg, and Stevens. Is that really something this administration would let happen? Perhaps, but it seems very, very unlikely.