Kerik’s withdrawal from the Homeland Security nomination has left Alberto Gonzales as the main target for liberals during the upcoming confirmation season. Led by the People For the American Way, a dozen liberal interest groups are working against Gonzales’s confirmation as attorney general. Although his defeat is wildly improbable given the GOP’s increased Senate majority, Gonzales, who is weak on abortion and affirmative action, lacks the support among conservatives enjoyed by retiring Atty. Gen. John Ashcroft.
Sources tell HUMAN EVENTS that Senate Judiciary member John Cornyn (R.-Tex.), who, like Gonzales, served on the Texas Supreme Court, has agreed to shepherd his nomination through the committee. As divisive as Ashcroft’s nomination was in 2001, he still managed to win confirmation by a 58-to-42 vote.