At the senate judiciary committee meeting today, Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) made a dramatic and well-documented statement outlining her reasons for opposing the appointment of John Aschcroft as U.S. Attorney General. Feinstein called Ashcroft’s record “ultra-right wing,” and stated that his “commitment to enforce the law in view of the extremeness of his record, as well as, on occasion, the harshness of his rhetoric, makes it difficult to believe that he can, in fact, fairly and aggressively enforce laws he deeply believes are wrong.” Feinstein included evidence backing the points on which she opposes Ashcroft’s confirmation, for example, citing Ashcroft’s statements opposing abortion and criticizing Roe v. Wade. She also challenged Ashcroft’s testimony regarding James Hormel, the openly gay Ambassador for Luzemburg whose confirmation Ashcroft opposed. Feinstein pointed out, “[the] new John Ashcroft promises never to discriminate against gays or lesbians for employment and said the reason for voting against Ambassador Hormel was because he knew him personally. Mr. Hormel called to tell me that he not only does not know Mr. Ashcroft, but that the Senator had refused to meet with him prior to his confirmation.”
“For over a quarter-century of public life,” Senator Feinstein notes, “John Ashcroft has established a record of right-wing conservatism, and of views far to the right of the average American, and even of many in his own party.” Her statement indicates mounting opposition to Ashcroft’s confirmation among the Democratic Senators.
You can e-mail Senator Feinstein, or call her office at (202) 224-3841 to thank her for her statement and for voting against John Ashcroft. Sample text for message: I am writing in support of your January 24 statement opposing John Ashcroft’s appointment as U.S. Attorney General. Your thorough research and strong language on Ashcroft’s positions made a powerful statement on behalf of millions of Americans.