Republican Sen. Sam Brownback of Kansas wants to meet this week with Attorney General Alberto Gonzales to talk about his positions on key issues in advance of his potential Supreme Court nomination.Ya think? I'd like to talk to some of the people involved too, and start getting a sense of the field, but that's not how we play the game.
Brownback, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee and a strong abortion opponent: “If people are throwing names around, I think it’s timely to talk to people involved.” A Brownback spokesman: “It’s not a litmus test.”
Brownback acknowledged his request may be rejected because Gonzales is not yet a nominee.
I'm not sure there wouldn't be something to be said for that system: A president names 10 people, the senate approves one for each of a range of positions. If the president wanted to, he could express his clear preference for one, but each candidate would get hearings.
For cabinet positions, it's a system that would be problematic, since the cabinet is all about personal relationships. Judges are supposed to represent everyone, so letting the range of options be more visible would make a lot of sense.
Closed door conversations between Brownback and Gonzales are clearly the wrong way to get anything done.