John Ashcroft

Religious Rights
February 26, 2001

At the end of January, President Bush signed an executive order removing impediments to charitable choice, which allows religious as well as secular organizations to administer federal social service programs. In the mid-'90s, when an aide to then-Senator John Ashcroft first proposed charitable choice, its opponents claimed it was an unconstitutional merger of church and state. But today most of them, thankfully, have abandoned that argument.

Power to Judge
January 29, 2001

The public outcry against John Ashcroft's nomination to be attorney general has been remarkable not only for its ideological intensity but for its intellectual confusion. Whether they're women's groups on abortion, civil rights groups on race, or religious minorities on church-state separation, Ashcroft's opponents have largely been protesting the wrong thing. The former Missouri senator, they say, can't be trusted to enforce laws with which he disagrees--on abortion and civil rights, for example.

January 15, 2001

SCARLET LETTER: John Ashcroft's two-page letter to Attorney General Janet Reno, apparently unreported by any major news outlet, rang with a sense of urgency. "This year," he wrote, "several disquieting events have raised serious questions about the integrity of the elections." The electoral irregularities were striking enough, he argued, to merit investigation by the Justice Department. "I would appreciate your immediate attention to this problem, using the resources of your Department, to ensure the integrity of [the] election process," he pleaded.