This editorial by The Washington

This editorial by The Washington Times offers more speculation about the debate within the Bush administration on whether to take a stand against the University of Michigan’s race-based admissions policies in the two pending Supreme Court cases. The Times suggests that the administration’s reluctance to do so may stem in part from the desire to protect the viability of White House Counsel Alberto Gonzalez as a Supreme Court nominee. The Times notes that Gonzalez has worked hard to “ingratiate” himself with key Senate Democrats. I’m not really qualified to opine with much authority about the politics of this. However, it seems to me that, assuming Gonzalez is going to be the nominee, Senate Democrats would be taking a big risk if they were to treat him like they treated Clarence Thomas simply because the administration opposes racial preferences. Since the Democrats no longer hold a majority, they would have to engage in scorched earth tactics to derail Gonzalez. It’s not clear to me that treating the first hispanic high Court nominee this way, based on a Justice Department brief that most Americans agree with, would be smart politics.

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