Exposing the Foggy Bottom from the Third Rail


Ashcroft Headed to Supreme Court?
Thurgood Marshall by Any Other Name?

John Ashcroft

Thurgood Marshall

Outgoing Attorney General John Ashcroft will change his name to Thurgood Marshall as part of the administration’s effort to unify the country when making future Supreme Court appointments. The late Justice Marshall was the first African American jurist on the court, and one of the court’s most liberal voices.

Ashcroft, having achieved security, law and order during his four-year term as the nation’s top law enforcement officer is reportedly preparing himself for a lifetime seat on the US Supreme Court. Since Ashcroft may have generated some divisive voices during his term at the Justice Department, the Bush administration believes that a name with a familiar ring might get the nomination past even a conservative Senate Judiciary Committee. “A Thurgood Marshall by any other name, is not as acceptable, ” a Bush administration spokesman said. “The people that elected Bush to a second term will not bother to check whether the nominee is the late Justice himself or a well-known musical star of Fahrenheit 9/11.

There is precedent for the Bush action within his own family history. When Marshall retired from the court in 1991, George Herbert Walker Bush scoured the nation for a suitable replacement for a Justice who had given the African American community decades of leadership and constitutional scholarship on the court. Finally, the elder Bush found Clarence Thomas, who he called “the best available choice” at the time.

Ashcroft says he will not go along with the Bush administration’s plan to put on black face in the style of Al Jolson, to make the appointment totally an affirmative action. “This is already one of my most embarrassing moments since I lost to that dead guy,” Ashcroft said, referring to his 2000 defeat in the race for Missouri’s US Senate seat, won by the then-late Governor Carnahan.

Ashcroft admits that he may not meet the standards of Justice Thomas on the bench, but says unlike Thomas he would cloak naked breasts on any statues within the US Supreme Court building.

In addition to Justice William Rehnquist who is suffering from ill health, the Bush administration expects to make future appointments to the Supreme Court in his second term. Nominees are already being gathered by the Bush team after Ashcroft. Among those being considered are Charlton (Moses) Heston, Kentucky’s US Senator Jim Bunning, and would-be Reagan assassin John Hinckley.


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