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Is Gonzales Pro-Life? Does it Matter?

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Inside the "originalist" Gonzales opinion that has pro-lifers so upset
When Sandra Day O'Connor announced her resignation from the Supreme Court, Focus on the Family founder James Dobson issued a press release through his more political Focus on the Family Action organization. "Focus Action Calls for Strict Constructionist," said the headline.

"The rulings by the Court this June, particularly the schizophrenic decisions on the Ten Commandments cases, have once again demonstrated the desperate need for justices who will interpret the Constitution as it was written, not as the latest fads of legal theorists dictate," Dobson said. "President Bush must nominate someone whose judicial philosophy is crystal clear."

Dobson's press release makes no mention of abortion or Roe v. Wade, nor does a Focus on the Family CitizenLink article about conservatives' criticism of Alberto Gonzales, the attorney general who is widely seen as Bush's leading candidate to replace O'Connor.

That criticism—which includes Focus on the Family's announcement that it would publicly oppose Gonzales—has been loud enough that Bush said publicly, "Al Gonzales is a great friend of mine. When a friend gets attacked, I don't like it."

But why are conservatives upset about Gonzales? Some, National Review's Ramesh Ponnuru notes, are upset that "he weakened the administration's brief to the Supreme Court in the University of Michigan racial-preference cases. Solicitor General Ted Olson wanted the administration to say that the use of racial preferences to achieve diversity is constitutionally impermissible. Gonzales overruled him."

But the big one for religious conservatives is Gonzales's "record" on abortion.

As a judge, Gonzales has one big strike against ...

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