The vote to confirm Ashcroft’s appointment as Attorney General revealed a significant gender gap within the Senate, with the majority of men in the Senate supporting Ashcroft and the overwhelming majority of women in the Senate opposing him. 63% of men senators voted to confirm Ashcroft, but only 23% of women senators supported his confirmation — for a 40% gender gap. All of the Democratic women senators voted to oppose Ashcroft, compared with only 80% of the Democratic male senators.
Women senators also played a key role in trying to defeat Ashcroft because of his anti-civil rights, anti-women’s rights, and anti-gay record. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) was the first senator to come out against Ashcroft, and Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Maria Cantwell (D-WA) as members of the Senate Judiciary Committee played key roles in questioning Ashcroft during the confirmation hearings. In her speech on the Senate floor, Boxer said, “The Attorney General is the Nation’s guardian of civil rights, of human rights, of women’s rights, of the environment, of sensible gun laws. He or she must be moderate to bring the country together. What did John Ashcroft say about moderates? He said: ‘There are two things you find in the middle of the road: A moderate and a dead skunk, and I don’t want to be either.'” Boxer continued, “I have looked into the heart of John Ashcroft. I do not think he is the right person for this job.”
Take Action: E-mail the Senators who voted for Ashcroft and tell them we will not accept an Ashcroft on the Supreme Court!