Attorney General John Ashcroft Installs Right-Wing "Dream Team" At Justice Department

Direction of U.S. Justice Department in Ashcroft’s First Six Months Signals Grave Threats to Americans’ Fundamental Rights and Liberties, says People For the American Way Foundation Report

John Ashcroft’s first six months as U.S. Attorney General have confirmed many of the concerns raised by opponents of his confirmation, according to a report released by People For the American Way Foundation.

"John Ashcroft has turned the Justice Department into the radical right’s Dream Team," said People For the American Way Foundation President Ralph G. Neas. "The record in his first six months has been poor – and it is likely to get worse. Many of these appointees are just getting started. When they are really up and running, Americans’ fundamental civil rights and civil liberties will be even more severely threatened."

The report released highlights some of the appointees to important Justice Department positions, discusses the relevance of the Federalist Society affiliation of many of those officials, considers the impact of John Ashcroft and his legal team on the federal judiciary and thus on American law and society, and reviews Department of Justice action and inaction under Ashcroft in more than a dozen policy areas.

Neas said that Ashcroft’s role in the administration’s plans to pack the Supreme Court and federal judiciary with right-wing ideologues could be his most lasting legacy. "If Ashcroft and his allies in the White House and Senate are successful, the federal courts could turn back the clock on 70 years of social justice progress," he said. "If senators don’t take a stand, we’ll find ourselves right back in an era when states’ rights trump civil rights, and we’ll lose First Amendment freedoms, reproductive rights, environmental protection, and so much more."

Click here to read the report.

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