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HACU Member Advisory--January 6, 2005


HACU Urges Senate Confirmation of Alberto Gonzales for U.S. Attorney General


After much deliberation and considerable assessment of Judge Alberto R. Gonzales’ nomination for U.S. Attorney General, HACU president & CEO Antonio Flores sent a letter on January 5, 2005, urging the Judiciary Committee of the U.S. Senate to recommend Senate confirmation of Gonzales’ nomination by President Bush.


HACU deliberated the pros and cons of Gonzales’ nomination, particularly in light of recent allegations surrounding his legal advice to President Bush on the status and treatment of detainees from the war in Afghanistan or linked to terrorist activities.  HACU also looked into his judicial decisions as a member of the Texas Supreme Court where Judge Gonzales established a record of adherence to prior court actions on controversial issues, such as the death penalty and abortion rights, as well as of reaffirmation of voting rights and affirmative action.  From this review, HACU concluded that Judge Gonzales’ overall record is significantly more favorable to the cause of equal opportunity and due process than that of John Ashcroft.


As a Hispanic American of humble origin, whose parents were migrant workers and did not even complete a middle-school education, Judge Gonzales’ academic and professional accomplishments make him an impressive and very talented nominee for Attorney General.  His modest upbringing and successful career should combine for a competent and sensitive (and sensible) Attorney General, if confirmed by the Senate.


Born in San Antonio and raised in Houston, Judge Gonzales attended public schools, graduated from Rice University and earned a law degree from Harvard University.  These accomplishments, along with his successful career as a practicing attorney, adjunct professor of law with the University of Houston, Texas Supreme Court member, and Counsel to the President of the United States, document suitable qualifications for the leadership and management responsibilities of the U.S. Department of Justice.


If confirmed by the Senate, Judge Gonzales will become the first Hispanic to hold the highest law enforcement position in the United States.  This fact only adds to his appointment’s significance to historically underrepresented populations in our country.


In closing, despite the controversy surrounding his nomination, the balance of his judicial record and the expectation of his appreciation for issues affecting people of color, particularly Hispanics, make Judge Gonzales a choice for Attorney General that HACU supports.


HACU Member Advisories are a service of the

Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities.