With Gonzales Gone, Who's Next?
You should know it is time to resign when your title changes from "attorney general" to "embattled attorney general" (as it is today in both The New York Times and The Washington Post). When President Bush first nominated Alberto R. Gonzales to be attorney general, the move was seen by some as a step towards his appointment to the Supreme Court. Instead, his tenure, as the Times describes it today, "has been marred by controversy and accusations of perjury before Congress."
As we eagerly close the door behind him, conjecture turns to his successor. Several reports say his temporary replacement will be Solicitor General Paul D. Clement, a lawyer who was described in a 2004 Legal Times profile as "one of the brightest legal minds in the country" with "a perfectly appointed conservative resume." Clement is on the short list of potential Gonzales successors at the Wall St. Journal's Law Blog.
Other names floated by the Law Blog and by other sources are Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff; James B. Comey, former deputy attorney general and now general counsel of Lockheed Martin; D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Laurence H. Silberman; Patrick J. Fitzgerald, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; Michael B. Mukasey, former chief judge of the Southern District of New York; SEC Chairman Christopher Cox; Larry D. Thompson, former deputy attorney general and now GC of PepsiCo; former solicitor general Ted Olson; and J. Michael Luttig, GC of Boeing and former judge of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
Whoever succeeds Gonzales, there is one certain credential required. Back in March, Andrew Cohen summed it up well when he said at the Washington Post blog Bench Conference: "Clearly, the next head of the Department of Justice must be many of the things that Gonzales is not."
Posted by Robert J. Ambrogi on August 27, 2007 at 06:14 PM | Permalink
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