Idiotic article of the day. Slate's Dahlia Lithwick has a rant against Ashcroft, and his position that the Second Amendment protects individual gun rights. It is thoroughly debunked on by InstaPundit and Volokh. Both of them say that Lithwick has written other good stuff, but I don't know why -- it seems to me that she botches the law every time and these guys have to straighten her out.
The whole Lithwick article has the erroneous premise that Ashcroft thinks that US v. Miller (1939), the leading Supreme Court case on the issue, was wrongly decided. He does not. His position is very similar to that of the recent US v. Emerson case, which completely accepted US v. Miller as good law. Ashcroft is merely accepting what most legal scholars have said for the last 200 years. It is not a radical position. Then she is puzzled as to why Ashcroft has not acted to overturn gun laws. She doesn't want him to overturn any gun laws, but she is puzzled anyway. Then she answers her own question by noting that Ashcroft testified in his confirmation hearings that he is willing to abide by gun control laws even if he personally disagrees with them. Finally, she thinks that this is proof that Ashcroft lied during the hearings, and should have been given a polygraph.
Lithwick's level of idiocy is only found among lawyers. Ashcroft is not seeking to reverse laws because his job as Attorney General is to uphold laws. He explained that rather well during his confirmation hearings, and spoke the obvious truth. Leftists are always trying to accuse right-wings of hypocrisy. When they cannot find any, they invent it. When someone like Ashcroft does what he is supposed to do, and stands firmly on his principles, it drives them bonkers.
Her mindless antagonism towards Ashcroft is rooted in politics, of course. She says, "what's to stop him from instituting a DOJ policy barring minors from access to abortions, because he believes that Roe v. Wade was also wrongly decided?". Guess what -- everybody thinks that Roe v. Wade was wrongly decided. Even left-wing pro-abortion law profs do not defend the logic of Roe v. Wade and wish that abortion could have been legalized by some other means. But as Ashcroft has also explained, it is also settled law and the Attorney General has to accept it.
Here is a NY Times attack on Bush's latest controversial judge nominee because he thinks that Roe v. Wade was wrongly decided. I'd like to cross-examine the political hit men who pretend that Roe v. Wade was correctly decided, and make them defend the reasoning. The vast majority of the American public has misunderstandings about just what Roe v. Wade decided.