Attorney General of the United States
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Thomson Legal Record for John Ashcroft
Providing the complete litigation record for John
||May 9, 1942, Chicago, Illinois
||United States Attorney General
|Prior Public Service:
||United States Senator, Missouri
(1995-2000); Governor, Missouri (1985-1993); Attorney General, Missouri
(1976-1985); Assistant Attorney General, Missouri (1975-1976); State Auditor,
||B.A. with honors,
Yale University, 1964
J.D., University of Chicago, 1967
Jump to: Cases
Involving Ashcroft | Profile
| News & Commentary
|Major Cases Involving John Ashcroft:
|The chart below contains a selection of some of the major cases affecting constitutional law that John Ashcroft has been involved in during his legal career..
||Summary of Facts
|Ashcroft v. ACLU
(U.S. Supreme Court, 2004)
|To protect minors from sexually explicit content on the Internet, Congress enacted the Child Online Protection Act. The Court rejected the arguments of the Attorney General, finding that COPA was too broad a restriction on protected speech and that the goal of protecting minors could better be achieved through blocking and filtering software.
||Child Online Protection Act (COPA)
||COPA statute violates the 1st Amendment
|Georgia v. Ashcroft
(U.S. Supreme Court, 2003)
|The Court vacated the decision of a 3-judge district court panel, and found that the lower court, and thus the Attorney General, had failed to consider all relevant factors in determining whether a Georgia redistricting plan reduced black voters' ability to elect candidates of their choice in certain districts.
||Voting Rights Act
|Eldred v. Ashcroft
(U.S. Supreme Court, 2003)
|The Court agreed with Attorney General Ashcroft that Congress had acted within its authority when it extended the the period in which copyrighted works could be protected, and kept from the public domain.
||Copyright Term Extension Act
|Planned Parenthood v. Ashcroft
(U.S. Supreme Court, 1983)
|As Missouri Attorney General, John Ashcroft personally argued the case before the Supreme Court in defense of a Missouri law imposing restrictions on abortion. The Court rejected Ashcroft's argument.
||Hospitalization requirement is Unconstitutional
|Liddell v. Board of Education of City of St. Louis
(U.S. Court of Appeals, 8th Cir. 1981-1985)
|Ashcroft, as Missouri Attorney General, resisted and appealed federal court orders requiring Missouri to pay for and implement voluntary school desegregation in St. Louis. In 1984, the federal appeals court stated that three times it had rejected the state's arguments, and that the U.S. Supreme Court twice denied the state's petitions to overturn the appeals court, then the court explained for a fourth time why it was rejecting Ashcroft's arguments. In a later ruling by the trial court, rejecting Ashcroft's attempt to reduce the civil rights plaintiffs attorney fee award because Missouri's conduct contributed to increasing the amount of attorney fees, the judge stated, "If it were not for the state of Missouri and its feckless appeals, perhaps none of us would be here today."
||Missouri must fund desegregation
University of Chicago-trained lawyer John Ashcroft may best be remembered for his post-9/11 work as U.S. Attorney General. In a relatively short time, the Missouri native played a key role in implementing a new anti-terror law that remains the subject of civil liberties groups’ legal challenges, the U.S.A. Patriot Act, while prosecuting probably more terror-related cases than any other state or federal Attorney General in history.
Like most Attorneys General, Ashcroft has been a frequent litigant while in office (view Ashcroft’s Thomson Legal Record). He continues to play a lead role in the Justice Department’s transformation following 9/11, facing criticism and support. U.S. Attorneys bringing terror-related prosecutions under Ashcroft have relied upon a 1996 federal law, the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 which criminalizes “providing material support or resources” to terrorist groups.
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|News and Commentary:
From FindLaw's Writ:
Political Commentary: *
- John Ashcroft's Subpoena Blitz:
Targeting Lawyers, Universities, Peaceful Demonstrators, Hospitals, and Patients, All With No Connection to Terrorism
by Noah Leavitt (Feb. 18, 2004)
- Why Did Attorney General Ashcroft Remove Himself From The Valerie Plame Wilson Leak Investigation?
Signs that a Key Witness May Have Come Forward
by John W. Dean (Jan. 06, 2004)
- Attorney General Ashcroft's New Charging, Plea Bargaining, and Sentencing Policies:
Though Consideration Is Needed, Criticism Has Been Overstated
by Edward Lazarus (Oct. 02, 2003)
- Ashcroft's Justice, Burma's Crimes, and Bork's Revenge
by Joanne Mariner (May 26, 2003)
- A Recent Judicial Reprimand of Attorney General Ashcroft Exposes a Pattern of Gag Order and Ethics Violations By His Office
by Elaine Cassel (Apr. 30, 2003)
- Has Attorney General John Ashcroft, In Alleged Terrorism Cases, Violated Government Ethics Rules Governing Prosecutors' Comments About The Accused?
by D. Mark Jackson (Jan. 30, 2003)
- Ashcroft And Rehnquist Go On A Shopping Spree:
The Problem With Choosing Jurisdictions and Judges Based on Predicted Results in the Sniper and Terrorism Cases
by Michael C. Dorf (Nov. 27, 2002)
- Ashcroft's Narco-Terror War
by Joanne Mariner (Nov. 11, 2002)
- Do Hamdi And Padilla Need Company?
Why Attorney General Ashcroft's Plan To Create Internment Camps For Supposed Citizen Combatants Is Shocking And Wrong
by Anita Ramasastry (Aug. 21, 2002)
- Ashcroft's Distorted Constitution
by Joanne Mariner (Dec. 12, 2001)
- Second Things First:
Attorney General Ashcroft's Protection Of The Rights Of Possible Terrorists To Possess Firearms
by Michael C. Dorf (Dec. 10, 2001)
- Mr. Ashcroft, Meet Mr. Palmer:
Some Lessons For The Attorney General (and All Of Us) From The 1919-20 Terrorist Attacks
by Ian Mylchreest (Nov. 15, 2001)
- Ashcroft v. Oregon:
Telling The States What To Do In Cases Of Physician-assisted Suicide
by Michael C. Dorf (Nov. 14, 2001)
- What John Ashcroft And Joseph Lieberman's Examples Teach Us About The Role Of Religious Beliefs In Government Decisionmaking
by Michael C. Dorf (Jan. 24, 2001)
- As Attorney General, Ashcroft Will Go Nowhere Fast:
Reflections On The Institutional Constraints That Weaken Attorneys General
by John W. Dean (Jan. 19, 2001)
- The Ashcroft Nomination:
Separating The Man From The Office
by Marci Hamilton (Jan. 18, 2001)
- Borking A Borker: The Proper Standard For Ashcroft's Confirmation Fight
by Edward Lazarus (Jan. 09, 2001)
- Travesty of Justice
No question: John Ashcroft is the worst attorney general in history.
by Paul Krugman, The New York Times (June 15, 2004)
- Gorelick's Wall
The Commissioner belongs in the witness chair.
Opinion Journal, The Wall Street Journal (Apr. 15, 2004)
- Events Related To Ashcroft, John
Harper's Magazine (Updated March 2004)
- The Library Lie
by Joseph Bottum, The Weekly Standard (Jan. 26, 2004)
- Ashcroft with Horns
This is dedicated to the one they hate.
by Jay Nordlinger, National Review (March 25, 2002)
- Ashcroft Sings, Nation Cringes
More proof positive that the United States Attorney General is quite possibly insane
by Mark Morford, San Francisco Chronicle (March 8, 2002)
- General Ashcroft
Justice goes to war.
by Terry Eastland, The Weekly Standard (Dec. 17, 2001)
- Leahy's Rout
Ashcroft wins the "civil liberties" debate.
Opinion Journal, The Wall Street Journal (Dec. 7, 2001)
- Gunning for Ashcroft
The new front against the attorney general.
by Byron York, National Review (Dec. 7, 2001)
- The Ashcroft 'Fatwa'
Why are modest law-enforcement measures drawing hysterical opposition?
Opinion Journal, The Wall Street Journal (Nov. 29, 2001)
- Ashcroft Rising
Since Septemer 11 the attorney general has made his presence felt.
by Terry Eastland, The Weekly Standard (Oct. 18, 2001)
- The Case for Ashcroft
If he fails the test, who passes?
by Robert L. Woodson, Sr., Opinion Journal, The Wall Street Journal (Jan. 17, 2001)
- The Perils of Being John Ashcroft
One more immersion in the recurrent pesthole of American politics.
by William F. Buckley, Jr., National Review (Jan. 5, 2001)
*Some online newsmedia, such as the New York Times and Washington post, require registration prior to providing access to articles or columns.
- Ashcroft, Deft at Taking Heat, Hits a Rocky Patch
by David Johnston and Richard W. Stevenson, The New York Times (June 30, 2004)
- Memo on Torture Draws Focus to Bush
Aide Says President Set Guidelines for Interrogations, Not Specific Techniques
By Mike Allen and Dana Priest, Washington Post (June 9, 2004)
- John Ashcroft Sings "Let The Eagles Soar."
CNN video (Feb. 25, 2002)
- Curtains for semi-nude justice statue
BBC News (Jan. 29, 2002)
- Ashcroft Wins Confirmation
In 58-42 Vote, Democrats Signal Readiness to Fight Future Choices
By Dan Eggen and Helen Dewar, Washington Post (Feb. 2, 2001)