Best Choice for Attorney General: Larry Thompson

A reader asked my opinion of Larry Thompson in the comments to the post below about Ashcroft resigning. I went on so long, I figured I'd make it a separate post.

I think Larry Thompson would be an excellent choice--the best of all the names that have been suggested so far--by miles. Is he conservative? Yes. But anyone Bush picks is going to be conservative. Most prosecutors are that way.

Larry Thompson has been a defense attorney and when he was, he was as committed to his clients and their defense as any career defense attorney.

I've known him since he was a defense attorney, and I am not the only defense attorney to have such a high opinion of him. He was a much admired and respected member of the defense organizations I belong to.

I believe that if he takes the job, he will be fair and not trample constitutional rights.

I wish he wasn't such a strong believer in the drug war, but again, no prosecutor is going to be great on defense issues. I don't know his side of the Maher Arar story, so I'll give him the benefit of the doubt on that one.

The other names being bandied about are no better than Ashcroft and quite possibly worse.

I heard on CNN that he recently took a job with Texaco Pepsico, and I know that being AG was very trying for him, especially the lack of time he had for his family, so I wouldn't be surprised if he decides against taking the job.

On the other hand, he has also been mentioned as a possible Supreme Court nominee, and that is such a much more prestigious position than AG. Since Bush is so fond of him, perhaps Larry will agree to be AG for two years or so if he's reasonably confident the Supreme Court is waiting for him afterwards.

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