By Geoff Earle - 07/12/05 12:00 AM EDT
Sen. Sam Brownback (R-Kan.), a conservative member of the Judiciary Committee, plans to meet this week with Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, who has been mentioned as a possible Supreme Court nominee.
Asked whether Gonzales would be a good nominee, Brownback replied, “I need to talk with him about his view of the Constitution to tell. That’s what I hope to do this week.”
Brownback rejected the notion that the meeting is premature: “If people are throwing names around, I think it’s timely to talk with individuals in the process.” President Bush has defended Gonzales, whom he called a great friend, after conservative groups spoke out against his possible nomination to the high court.
The Judiciary Committee earlier this year approved Gonzales as attorney general on a party-line vote. If all panel Democrats rejected Gonzales again, one GOP member could potentially derail his possible nomination to fill the Supreme Court vacancy.
Another conservative panel member, Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), was less revealing. “He’s not a nominee,” he said. “I’m not talking about anybody who’s not.”