The Ashcroft Battle: Witness for the Prosecution: Ronnie White

RONNIE WHITE

When Missouri Supreme Court Justice Ronnie White testifies at John Ashcroft's confirmation hearing this week, the winds of opposition will suddenly be funneled into a single human voice. White's 1999 nomination for a federal judgeship was famously torpedoed by Ashcroft, who charged that White, an African American, had "pro-criminal" tendencies. Exhibit A for Ashcroft: White's dissent in favor of a death-penalty defendant accused of murdering four people, including three police officers. Ashcroft's opponents charge (and Ashcroft denies) that his criticism of White was motivated in part by the nominee's race. Exhibit A for the opponents: Justice Ronnie White.

How damaging a...

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