Confirmation vote delayed for AG nominee Gonzales

[JURIST] Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee [official website] have forced a one-week postponement pf the vote on Alberto Gonzales' [official White House biography] nomination as attorney general because Gonzales hasn't answered all of the committee's questions. Gonzales submitted written answers to committee questions [JURIST report] yesterday, but those answers have been criticized as evasive. Senator Patrick Leahy responded to Gonzales' submissions by saying "This was another missed opportunity for straight answers and accountability. I regret seeing Judge Gonzales fall into the same pattern of stonewalling and non-cooperation that we have seen far too often from this Administration and from the current attorney general." Read Leahy's comment on the written replies [Leahy press release]. In asking for a delay in voting on the nomination Wednesday, Senator Edward Kennedy said:

Mr. Gonzales should not be listed on the agenda today, because he still has not provided serious, consistent, and responsive answers to this Committee's questions.

The questions which we have asked, and which Mr. Gonzales has declined to answer or evaded, address a matter of vast importance that goes to the heart of what America stands for in the world, and the world is watching what we do with this nomination.

For decades, other nations have respected the United States as a leader on human rights, but the torture and other abuse of prisoners in Iraq and Guantanamo have done immense damage to that reputation. The extreme and irresponsible claims in the Bybee Memorandum [text, PDF] have raised questions about our commitment to the rule of law. How can this Committee not insist on full and forthright answers from the person who asked for the Bybee Memorandum in the first place, and who has been nominated to be the next Attorney General of the United States?...

Our Committee should not acquiesce in such gross evasion and non-responsiveness. If we are to meet our constitutional responsibility in the confirmation process, we must insist that Mr. Gonzales provide responsive answers to these fundamental questions. He should not be listed on the agenda for a Committee vote on his nomination until he does so.
Read Senator Kennedy's statement to the judiciary committee. AP has more.

8:59 PM ET - Gonzales' written responses to questions are now online courtesy the DC Supreme Court litigation firm of Goldstein & Howe. Review answers to questions by Senators Biden, Coburn, Durbin (Part I;II), Feingold, Feinstein, Graham, Grassley, Hatch, Kennedy (Part I;II;III), Kohl, Leahy, Levin, Schumer, Sessions and Specter.


 

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