John Ashcroft, 2003 News
U.S. attorney general, was widely criticized for seeking sweeping new powers to track down terrorists. Civil libertarians and increasingly, the courts, have condemned the compromise on civil rights and due process in the name of national security. In June, days after an internal review by the Justice Department's inspector general said the detention of 762 illegal immigrants was highly problematic, Ashcroft testified before the House Judiciary Committee that the roundup was necessary to protect the country and that law-enforcement officials should have even broader powers. He toured the country in September to promote the proposed revision of the Patriot Act, which includes wider subpoena powers, an expanded federal death penalty statute, and provisions that allow judges to deny bail for suspects in terrorism cases.