I interviewed Attorney General Alberto Gonzales on the vacancies on the D.C. Circuit this morning, and specifically on the subject of the 12th judge controversy. Here’s what he said:
HH: Last week on this program, Mr. Gonzales, Senator Sessions said he really didn’t think we should fill the 12th seat on the D.C. Circuit. That’s kind of an odd position to take. Do you agree with that? Are you fully aware of the Senator, and he’s got some others who agree with him, on that?
AG: No, I am aware, and obviously, I respect their views very much. And I think one of the things we need to look at is whether or not, given the new jurisdiction under the Detainee Treatment Act of the D.C. Circuit to look at certain cases, and whether or not that creates additional case load for them that would warrant filling that last seat. But these are all issues that we’re looking at, and obviously talking with members of Congress at the Senate with. And we very much, of course, respect their views. On the other hand, I think the President believes it’s important that we nominate good people to vacant seats. And if in fact seats are not necessary, maybe they shouldn’t be there. But we’re going to continue to work with the Senate, and identify good people, and nominate them as quickly as we can.
I also asked him about SCOTUS vacancies, the Duke case, and the guest worker provisions of the immigration bill. The transcript is up at Radioblogger.com.