Civil, women’s, and abortion rights groups are gearing up to oppose the nomination of former Senator John Ashcroft (R-MO) for US Attorney General because of his anti-woman, anti-choice positions on abortion and gun control. Groups campaigning against Ashcroft will urge Senators not to follow tradition by voting for a colleague, but rather to acknowledge Ashcroft’s record on civil rights and his unrelenting anti-abortion position.
Leading Democratic Senators have expressed concern over Ashcroft’s appointment, as well. Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Senate Judiciary Committee member, intends to explore how Ashcroft’s conservative politics will affect how he enforces the laws of the country. Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle (D-SD) plans to press Ashcroft on his willingness to enforce civil rights laws that protect equal rights for women and minorities. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) has expressed concern that if Ashcroft is appointed, he will not enforce laws against abortion clinic violence or gun control measures.