Constitutional Rights

Editorial Memorandum: John Ashcroft’s Relentless Assault on Civil Liberties

This editorial memorandum examines how U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft has failed to pursue a responsible and balanced approach to achieving security and preserving liberty, but has promoted legislation and instituted policies at the Department of Justice (DOJ) that could threaten civil liberties and undermine civil rights for years to come. These recent actions continue a dangerous trend that was already evident in his first six months on the job.

John Ashcroft's First Year as Attorney General

In January 2001, a remarkably broad coalition of civil rights and other public interest organizations opposed the confirmation of John Ashcroft as U.S. Attorney General. People For the American Way helped lead that effort. One year later, Ashcroft has done much to ensure his legacy as a right-wing ideologue who is willing to bend the Constitution and laws to his worldview, disregard the constitutional principle of checks and balances, and endanger Americans' basic rights and freedoms.

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