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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Launched in 1999, Christianity Today’s Weblog was not just one of the first religion-oriented weblogs, but one of the first published by a media organization. (Hence its rather bland title.) Mostly compiled by then-online editor Ted Olsen, Weblog rounded up religion news and opinion pieces from publications around the world. As Christianity Today’s website grew, it launched other blogs. Olsen took on management responsibilities, and the Weblog feature as such was mothballed. But CT’s efforts to round up important news and opinion from around the web continues, especially on our Gleanings feature.
Ted Olsen
Ted Olsen is Christianity Today's editorial director. He wrote the magazine's Weblog—a collection of news and opinion articles from mainstream news sources around the world—from 1999 to 2006. In 2004, the magazine launched Weblog in Print, which looks for unexpected connections and trends in articles appearing in the mainstream press. The column was later renamed "Tidings" and ran until 2007.
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