Greetings from Attorney General John Ashcroft
I am honored to write to you as the seventy-ninth
Attorney General of the United States. Throughout America’s long history, the
Justice Department has acted as a stabilizing force by upholding the sanctity
of the rule of law. Whether patrolling a remote border area, arguing a legal
point in the courtroom or investigating a serious crime, Justice Department
employees have earned a reputation for skill, dedication, and integrity.
Together, we will strive to give prosecutors, law
enforcement agencies, and the courts more tools to get gun wielding criminals
off our streets and out of our neighborhoods. We will renew the war on drugs and
work to spare our nation’s children from the horrors drugs inflict on our families
and our culture. And we will work to vigorously protect the civil rights of all
These are issues that have been a focus in my
years as Missouri Attorney General, Governor and Senator, and I intend to continue
that focus at the Justice Department. Your expertise and dedication are essential
to accomplishing the goal of Justice for All. I intend to consult with you often as
we move forward with these important initiatives. Likewise, I urge you to feel free
ontact my office at any time if I can be of assistance to you in any way.
Despite the many challenges facing our nation, I
have every confidence we can seize the opportunity to make our country even greater.
Our cause is justice, our foundation is firm, and our commitment is unwavering.
Let us all be dedicated to ensuring that the Justice Department fulfills its promise
and honors its heritage — not only enforcing the rule of law, but guaranteeing rights
for the advancement of all Americans.
Attorney General John Ashcroft
Calling him “a man of great integrity, a man of
great judgment and a man who knows the law,” President George W. Bush announced
his decision to nominate John Ashcroft to serve as Attorney General of the United
States on December 22, 2000. Upon confirmation by the Senate, Ashcroft pledged to
renew the war on drugs, reduce the incidence of gun violence and combat discrimination
so no American feels outside the protection of the law.
Ashcroft was born in Chicago, Illinois, on May 9,
1942. He was raised in Springfield, Missouri, where he attended public schools
until enrolling at Yale University, where he graduated with honors in 1964.
He received his J.D. from the University of Chicago in 1967. He began his career
of public service in 1973 as Missouri Auditor and was later elected to two terms
as the state’s Attorney General. His ability to work with leaders of both political
parties prompted his colleagues in the non-partisan National Association of Attorneys
General to choose him as Chairman.
Ashcroft was elected Governor of Missouri in 1984 and
held that post until 1993. During his tenure, he balanced eight consecutive budgets
and served as Chairman of the Education Commission of the States. Fortune magazine
rated him one of the top ten education governors in the country, while Financial
World and City and State magazines credited him with making Missouri one of the
best financially managed states in the country. He also spearheaded the state’s
efforts to reduce the use of illegal drugs. In 1991, the non-partisan National
Governors Association elected him Chairman.
He was elected to the Senate in 1994 and maintained
a near-perfect voting attendance record while working to combat illegal drugs,
increase the quality of public education, reduce crime and safeguard the rights
of crime victims. Ashcroft worked closely with Missouri law enforcement officers,
developing strategies to counter the state’s methamphetamine problems. He co-sponsored
the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act. He fought to toughen the
penalties for gun crimes by substantially increasing mandatory minimum prison
sentences for the criminal misuse of firearms. During his time in the Senate,
Ashcroft was a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee and Chairman of the
Prior to entering public service, Ashcroft taught business
law at Southwest Missouri State University in Springfield. He authored the book
Lessons from a Father to His Son, a tribute to his father, and co-authored multiple
editions of two college law textbooks with his wife, Janet. John and Janet Ashcroft
have three children: Martha, John and Andrew, and one grandchild, Jimmy Patterson.
Attorney General Ashcroft is committed to confronting
injustice by leading a professional Justice Department free from politics, defined
by integrity and dedicated to upholding the rule of law. He will make certain that
the Justice Department fulfills its promise and honors its heritage–not only by
enforcing the rule of law, but by guaranteeing rights for the advancement of all Americans.
Full Funding Request Sent to Congress
Attorney General John Ashcroft announced in April
that in the President’s budget request for 2002, key Department of Justice programs
to fight violence against women will receive a $102.52 million increase over 2001,
for Violence Against Women Programs
In a speech to the Academy of Criminal Justice
Scientists and Criminal Justice Journalists, Ashcroft made
the following remarks:
“No American should feel beyond the protection of
the law. That is why we have an office dedicated to help stop violence against
women. Violence against women grants help communities address violent crime against
women by assisting with prosecution and victim assistance.
“Today, I am pleased to announce that in the
President’s upcoming budget, the Violence Against Women Office at the Department
of Justice will receivethe requested funding. This year’s funding request
includes 102.5 million additional dollars compared to last year’s budget.
“These funds will be used for existing VAWA programs
and will also create new programs as authorized under the Victims of Trafficking
and Violence Protection Act of 2000.”
Under VAWA, Congress has authorized more than $3 billion
to support victim services and the work of police, prosecutors and the courts. The
Department of Justice administers six grant programs helping local governments
and community based agencies train personnel, establish specialized domestic violence
and sexual assault units, provide victim services and prosecute offenders.
Appropriations for VAWA (including Victims of Child Abuse
funding) in FY 2001 totaled $288,044,000. The Department’s FY 2002 request of $390,565,000,
which has been fully granted under the president’s budget, represents a $102.52 million
increase that will fund both existing and new VAWA programs.
Appointments and Nominations
As of mid-April, the following individuals have
been or will be nominated by President Bush to serve at the Department of Justice:
Deputy Attorney General - Larry Thompson
Former US Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia
Larry Thompson is currently a partner at the Atlanta firm King & Spalding. He specializes
in white collar crime, complex civil litigation, corporate litigation and False Claims
Act cases. As U.S. Attorney, he directed the Southeastern Organized Crime Drug Enforcement
Task Force and served on the Attorney General’s Economic Crime Council. He received his
BA at Culver-Stockton College, his Masters from Michigan State and his JD from the
University of Michigan.
Solicitor General - Ted Olson
Ted Olson is currently a partner with the Washington
DC branch of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, where he concentrates on constitutional law,
appellate litigation, federal legislation and media and commercial disputes.
Beginning in 1981 he served four years as the Assistant Attorney General for the
Office of Legal Counsel. He graduated from the University of the Pacific and received
his law degree from the University of California at Berkeley.
Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Division - Robert McCallum
Robert McCallum is currently a partner at the Atlanta firm of
Alston & Bird, where he specializes in civil litigation with an emphasis on appellate
practice, real estate litigation, insurance class action litigation and medical malpractice
defense. He served as Special Assistant Attorney General for the State of Georgia from
1979 to 1987, representing the State Department of Transportation in eminent domain litigation.
He graduated cum laude from Yale University and received his law degree from Yale Law School.
He also obtained a second BA with first class honors in jurisprudence from Oxford University
on a Rhodes Scholarship.
Assistant Attorney General for the Environment and Natural Resources Division - Thomas Sansonetti
After serving as Solicitor for the Department of the Interior
under Secretary Manuel Lujan, Thomas Sansonetti joined the Cheyenne, Wyoming, firm of Holland
and Hart, where he specializes in environment and natural resources law. Previously, he
worked for Congressman Craig Thomas, and was appointed Associate Solicitor for Energy and
Resources by Interior Secretary Don Hodel during the last two years of the Reagan
administration. He received his undergraduate degree with distinction from the University
of Virginia, his law degree from Washington and Lee and his MBA from the University of
Assistant Attorney General for the Tax Division - Eileen O'Connor
Eileen O’Connor currently works at the accounting firm of Aronson,
Fetridge and Weigle. Previously, she worked at the Office of Federal Tax Services at the
accounting and consulting firm of Grant Thornton. She has also served as a corporation tax
law specialist at the National Office of the IRS. An adjunct professor at George Mason Law
School, O’Connor received her undergraduate degree from Columbus State University and her
law degree from Catholic University.
Director of the National Institute of Justice - Sarah Hart
Sarah Hart has served as the Chief Counsel for the
Pennsylvania Department of Corrections since 1995. Previously, she worked as a
prosecutor in the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office, where she was lead
counsel for nine years in federal litigation involving the Philadelphia prison
system. She serves currently on the Pennsylvania Appellate Procedural Rules Committee,
and is the former Vice Chair of the Legal Affairs Committee of the American
Correctional Association. She received her undergraduate degree from the University
of Delaware and her law degree from Rutgers Camden School of Law.
Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division - Ralph Boyd
Ralph Boyd is currently a partner with the Boston firm of
Goodwin Procter. From 1991-1997, he served as a federal prosecutor for the Boston U.S.
Attorney’s Office and received widespread praise for cracking down on gun violence. He
also played a key role in establishing Boston’s Effective Crime Initiative. He graduated
from Haverford College and received his JD from Harvard Law School.
Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Legislative Affairs - Dan Bryant
Dan Bryant formerly served as the Chief Counsel to the House
Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Crime. He has worked at the Department in the
Criminal Division and the Office of the General Counsel. He also served as a Special
Assistant in the Office of Justice Programs’ Office of Juvenile Justice. Bryant
received his BA and JD from American University.
Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division - Michael Chertoff
Michael Chertoff is currently a partner at the law firm
Latham & Watkins in Newark, New Jersey. Prior to that, he spent over a decade as a
federal prosecutor, including service as US Attorney for New Jersey, First Assistant
U.S. Attorney for New Jersey and Assistant US Attorney for the Southern District of
New York. He graduated cum laude from Harvard and magna cum laude from Harvard Law School.
Assistant Attorney General for OJP - Deborah Daniels
Deborah Daniels served previously as U.S. Attorney
for the Southern District of Indiana, where she was instrumental in establishing
the Weed & Seed program there. She is currently a partner at the Indianapolis firm
of Krieg DeVault Alexander & Capehart. She received a BA with honors from DePauw
University and graduated cum laude from the Indiana University School of Law.
Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Policy Development - Viet Dinh
Viet Dinh is a graduate of Harvard University and
Harvard Law School, and served as a clerk to U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra
Day O’Connor and U.S. Appellate Judge Laurence Silberman. Currently, he works
as a Professor at Georgetown University Law School, and is Deputy Director of
the school’s Asian Law and Policy Studies Program. Previously, he served as Special
Counsel to Senator Pete Domenici.
Assistant Attorney General for the Antitrust Division - Charles James
Charles James is currently a partner at the Cleveland-based
firm of Jones, Day, Reavis & Pogue. James served previously as Acting Assistant Attorney
General and Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the Antitrust Division. From 1979-1985
he worked at the Federal Trade Commission. He graduated from Wesleyan University in
Middletown, Connecticut, and received his JD from George Washington University.
Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Legal Counsel - John Manning
John Manning served at the Department of Justice as both
Assistant to the Solicitor General and Attorney-Advisor for the Office of Legal Counsel.
He has also worked as an associate at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher in Washington, DC, where
he specialized in appellate litigation cases. He graduated summa cum laude and Phi
Beta Kappa from Harvard and received his JD from Harvard Law School with magna
cum laude honors.
Janet Ashcroft Discusses Women's History
Janet Ashcroft, wife of Attorney General John Ashcroft,
addressed Department of Justice employees at an event in honor of Women’s History
month on March 23. Her speech reflected upon the many advances made by women in her
“If women make half as much progress during my lifetime
and my daughter’s lifetime as they made during my grandmother’s and my mother’s
lifetimes the future looks very bright for women,” she said.
Mrs. Ashcroft also reminded her audience of the many
avenues open to American women today, thanks to workplace flexibility and changing
societal standards. She described the difficulties her own mother and grandmother
overcame in order to educate themselves and their children.
Ashcroft received her JD from the University of
Chicago in 1967. She has served as General Counsel for the Missouri Department
of Revenue and Professor at Howard University in Washington, DC. She has also
authored two business law textbooks. She has three children: Martha, John and
Andrew, and one grandchild, Jimmy Patterson.
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