White House counsel Alberto Gonzales, a former Houston lawyer, is expected to face tough questions on a variety of issues including abortion and the treatment of war detainees before the Senate votes on his nomination as U.S. attorney general, reports the Houston Chronicle. President Bush picked him Wednesday to replace John Ashcroft as the nation’s top law enforcement official. Gonzales, 49, raised in north Houston by parents who met as migrant workers, would be the first Hispanic in the job.
As a Texas Supreme Court justice and later Bush’s top lawyer, Gonzales built a record that could give liberal and conservative senators on the Judiciary Committee ammunition for rugged questioning before the full Senate votes on confirmation. Gonzalez was born in San Antonio. He attended the U.S. Air Force Academy and received a bachelor’s degree from Rice University in 1979 and a law degree from Harvard University in 1982. He was a corporate lawyer in Houston before being named Texas attorney general by then-Gov. Bush, who later appointed him to the Texas Supreme Court, where he served briefly before joining Bush in Washington.