People For the American Way President Ralph G. Neas issued the following statement in response to the announcement of U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft’s resignation:
“John Ashcroft was one of the most destructive attorneys general in the modern era. His tenure was marked by a severe erosion of Americans’ constitutional liberties and a diminished commitment to civil rights enforcement. His tenure at the Justice Department would have been even more damaging if the Supreme Court had not rejected his claims that the President could unilaterally suspend American citizens’ constitutional protections.
“The impact of Ashcroft’s departure depends on who replaces him as attorney general. We call on President Bush to put forth a nominee with a demonstrated commitment to the protection of civil rights and constitutional liberties.
People For the American Way has published a number of reports on John Ashcroft’s record, which can be found here. People For the American Way was part of a broad coalition of organizations that strenuously opposed Ashcroft’s confirmation.