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The Bad News from Bush: Attorney General Nominee John Ashcroft - Page 2
It didn't take long for President-Elect Bush to start proving the doomsayers right, far right, with this disastrous nomination.

by Deborah Levinson

(Continued from here)

Even the Log Cabin Republicans who will support almost any Republican regardless of their positions on issues of importance to and for GLBT Equal Rights did not support Ashcroft in his bid for re-election to the Senate against the late Mel Carnahan, calling Ashcroft a candidate of the religious right.

The Human Rights Campaign rated Ashcroft 0% on issues it considered of importance to its fight for equal rights for all.

The People For the American Way has rarely spoken out on Executive Branch nominations, let alone opposed them, but in this case they feel that the risks are so substnatial, that they must.

PFAW president Ralph G. Neas on the nomination:

The Attorney General of the United States is not only the lawyer for the President, but also the lawyer for the people of the United States. He is the principal enforcer of our nation's civil rights laws.

John Ashcroft is the antithesis of the person required to lead the Department of Justice. With the possible exception of Senator Jesse Helms, I do not believe anyone in the United States Senate has a more abysmal record on civil rights and civil liberties.

The office of Attorney General is the worst executive branch position for George W. Bush to use as political payback to the far right. This nomination is an insult to every person who is committed to our nation's promise of equal justice for all.

The nomination of John Ashcroft to Attorney General is a particular poke in the eye to African Americans after Ashcroft's incredibly irresponsible behavior to block the judicial nomination of Judge Ronnie White.

This is truly an astonishingly bad nomination.

Ronnie White was the first black jurist to serve on the Missouri Supreme Court and was nominated by President Clinton to the federal judiciary.

While still a senator Ashcroft participated in a concerted effort to slow, stall and stop confirmation of female and minority appointees to the federal judiciary, including Judge White.

The late Mel Carnahan, who posthumusly beat Ashcroft in the 2000 race for the U.S. Senate, then Governor of Missouri, believed that Ashocroft, along with other Senate republicans, had a poor record on confirmation of blacks nominated to serve on federal courts.

Carnahan also noted that Ashcroft's protestations of a policy-based decision were specious, arguing that White's record in death penalty cases did not differ substantially from nominees that Ashcroft himself had placed on the bench while governor of Missouri.

The Washington Post chimed in during late 1999: "Controversy over the Republican controlled Senate's rejection of an African American candidate for a seat on the federal bench deepened yesterday, as new statistics were released indicating that during the last Congress minority judicial candidates were more than twice as likely as their white counterparts not to be confirmed" (Ben White, The Washington Post, October 7, 1999).

Ashcroft also participated in the blocking of Clinton's nomination for Surgeon General, David Satcher. In working to block the nomination, Ashcroft joined Christian conservative leaders Randy Tate and Gary Bauer at a press conference to announce and explain his opposition.

The opposition was based upon Satcher's involvement in a study in Africa on pregnant women with AIDS. The study was funded by the federal Centers for Disease Control, which Satcher then headed. (They also took issue with Satcher's position on late-term abortions.)

Bad for Queers.

Bad for Women.

Bad for Racial Minorities.

How can Ashcroft serve All the people?

Ashcroft seems to believe that it is appropriate to block nominations on ideological grounds, perhaps it is time to let your Senators know what you think of Ashcroft ideology --- and what you will think of them if they let Ashcroft slide in to the Attorney General's office because he was once one of their own.

In Pride,


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Drop a note to Deborah at gaylesissues@rslevinson.com

copyright 1986-2010 Deborah Levinson