John Ashcroft, nominated for attorney general

(WOMENSENEWS)–President-elect George W. Bush announced Friday, Dec. 22, that a member of the Republicans’ Christian Right would be his nominee for the nation’s highest law enforcement post.

John Ashcroft, the Missouri one-term senator who lost his bid for re-election this year to the state’s deceased Democratic governor, is known to be strongly anti-choice and anti-affirmative action. As attorney general, he is likely to have enormous influence over the selection of federal judges and it is believed he will nix candidates who favor even limited reproductive freedom and affirmative action. He also is expected to be less than enthusiastic about protecting abortion clinics.

At the press conference announcing the nomination, Ashcroft said in a prepared statement that freedom could only flourish under a “rule of law … that knows no class, that sees no color and bows to no creed.”

Neither Bush nor Ashcroft were asked about these issues during the following question and answer session, nor were they asked about whether the Ashcroft nomination was a response to the Rev. Jerry Falwell’s recent public demand that Bush repay the Christian Right’s campaign support through the appointments of attorney general and the cabinet officer for Health and Human Services.