Cultural Revolutions

A Bush Nominee

Alberto Gonzales, President Bush’s nominee to replace John Ashcroft as attorney general, is, by all accounts, a skilled lawyer who has achieved a great deal since his humble beginnings as the son of Mexican migrant farmworkers.  He also has compiled a track record that should trouble all those who wish to limit abortion, immigration, affirmative action, or the powers of the executive branch.

As a member of the Texas Supreme Court, Gonzales joined the majority of the court in construing a Texas statute intended to restrict a minor’s ability to have an abortion without first informing her parents to allow most minors in Texas to bypass their parents when deciding to have an abortion.  In In re Jane Doe, 19 S.W. 3d 346 (2000), the Texas Supreme Court ruled that “Jane Doe,” a 17-year-old, was entitled to have an abortion without first informing her parents, overturning both the trial court and the Court of Appeals, each of which had found that “Jane Doe” had not met the statute’s requirements for bypassing her parents.  In allowing “Jane Doe” to abort her child, the Texas Supreme Court ignored an amicus brief filed by the statute’s sponsors indicating that the Texas legislature wanted the statute’s bypass provisions to be narrowly construed.  In a stinging dissent, Justice Nathan Hecht convincingly argued that the rationale for the majority’s...

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