People For the American Way President Ralph G. Neas' Statement on the Nomination of John Ashcroft to be U.S. Attorney General

While it is extremely rare for People For the American Way to oppose an Executive Branch nomination, we must oppose strongly the nomination of John Ashcroft to be Attorney General of the United States.

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 federal judicial nomination of Judge Ronnie White.

This is truly an astonishingly bad nomination.

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