Justice Front-Runner

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Just five months ago, Alberto Gonzales had the backing of his party as he was sworn into his current office of U.S. Attorney General.

Now, as a possible candidate for Justice Sandra Day O'Connor's seat on the Supreme Court bench, it's the Republicans who have been launching the attacks against him.

"There are some in the conservative movement that are suspicious of him and because of his rulings when he was a judge on the abortion and his performance and some of the actions taken on affirmative action,” says C. Boyden Gray from the Committee for Justice.

Judge Procter Hug Jr. judge on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals says you can't always tell what a justice is going to be, “particular cases.”

Judge Hug, a Reno native, has worked with Gonzales on a mock court with university students. He thinks the Attorney General is a good, moderate choice, especially since he will be replacing Justice O'Connor, who Hug also sees as a moderate. He argues that because so many Supreme Court cases have been decided with a 5 to 4 outcome, whoever takes a seat on the bench will play a critical role when some of the controversial issues, like abortion, are revisited.

Justice Hug also notes Gonzales would be the first Hispanic U.S. Supreme Court justice, something which President Bush is taking into consideration.