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Ruling Stops Ashcroft at the Oregon State Line

April 23, 2002

Re "Do Your Job, Mr. Ashcroft," editorial, April 19: A lot of people are offended that the attorney general consistently steps over the line of performing his duties. It was no surprise that he tried to interfere in Oregon's Death With Dignity Act. He is for snooping into our personal bank records, tax returns, e-mails and homes. He says that those who don't agree are giving aid and comfort to our enemies.

He opposes allowing the FBI to determine if terrorist suspects have purchased weapons.

We in the National Organization for Women are especially incensed about his constant crusades to make all abortion illegal and that he has favored laws to outlaw common contraceptives.

From holding Bible study sessions in government offices to purchasing draperies to cover partially nude statues that have been in the Justice Department for 70 years, we disagree with Atty. Gen. John Ashcroft.

Lila Pervier

El Monte

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So it's rightly anathema for Ashcroft to involve himself in Oregon state law. But remember when a federal judge ignominiously dumped the will of California's voters and invalidated Proposition 187, despite the fact that the federal government has de facto abrogated its responsibility in protecting our borders?

That The Times didn't have its ideological moral-indignation meters blazing off the dial at this blatant subversion of popular sovereignty is a dictionary-definition example of hypocrisy. Your conception of "democracy" only goes as far as it serves your own interests.

Steven Cade

Los Angeles

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When he was under consideration for the job of attorney general, Ashcroft was asked pointedly if he could separate his moral beliefs from his ability to uphold the laws of the United States. He stated unequivocally that he would uphold the laws even if he disagreed with them on moral grounds. Apparently his own morality does not rule out lying to the American people. With his efforts to overturn the assisted-suicide laws in Oregon and elsewhere, Ashcroft takes firm hold in his personal morals to do away with laws--federal, state or otherwise--with which he does not agree. His full-frontal assault on civil liberties after Sept. 11 shows how reactionary and ultraconservative he is.

I predict that this will only be the beginning of Ashcroft's one-man moral crusade to "clean up" his list of dirty laws in this country. He was a bad choice then and he's an even worse reality now. Hold onto your civil liberties, folks; it's going to be a bumpy couple of years.

Eric Potruch

Los Angeles

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