Harry Reid: Gonzales is "qualified"

Entering the Supreme Court spin zone, the Senate minority leader tweaks the religious right for going ballistic over a nomination that hasn't happened yet.

Published July 6, 2005 9:22PM (EDT)

Still more news -- and yet, no news -- from the Supreme Court spin zone:

Despite all the caterwauling from the religious right, or maybe because of it, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid has just proclaimed Alberto Gonzales "qualified" to serve on the Supreme Court.

According to the Associated Press, Reid said today that Gonzales is qualified on account of being the attorney general and a former justice on the Texas Supreme Court. "But having said that he's qualified, I don't know if he'd have an easy way through," Reid said.

Thirty-six Democrats voted against Gonzales' confirmation as attorney general earlier this year, and more might join them if the man who signed off on U.S. torture policy were up for a lifetime appointment to the nation's highest court. Reid didn't say much today about what Democrats might do if Bush names Gonzales to replace Sandra Day O'Connor, but he did tweak the religious right for going ballistic over the prospect before it's even a reality. "I think it's too bad the president has to respond in Denmark about statements from the far right,'' Reid said. "People here have gone a little too far.''

By Tim Grieve

Tim Grieve is a senior writer and the author of Salon's War Room blog.

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