US Senate approves attorney-general

Alberto Gonzales has won US Senate confirmation as the nation's next attorney-general but with the second highest ever number of votes against a successful nominee for the post.

    Gonzales will be the first Hispanic US attorney-general

    The Republican-led Senate rejected on Thursday Democrat complaints that Gonzales helped craft policies that contributed to the torture of foreign detainees, and approved him on a largely party-line vote of 60-36.
       
    A former Texas Supreme Court justice and President George Bush's top lawyer for the past four years, the 49-year-old Gonzales was quickly sworn in at the White House as the first Hispanic to head the Justice Department. 
        
    Bush nominated Gonzales to replace his first attorney-general John Ashcroft, a conservative lightning rod barely confirmed
    four years ago by a 58-42 vote.

    The only attorney-general nominee with more no votes was Charles Warren, whose nomination was rejected by the Senate in March 1925 by 39-46, according to the Senate historian's office.
       
    Controversial

    Senate Democrats opposed Gonzales, charging that detention policies he helped craft after the 11 September 2001 attacks contributed to the abuse of foreign detainees and put Americans at increased risk.
       
    Though Democrats could not stop Gonzales, some said they hope the big no vote will help dissuade Bush from possibly nominating him in the future to the US Supreme Court.
       
    The battle over Gonzales has focused largely on a 1 August 2002 memo he approved that gave a narrow definition to torture. The memo was later withdrawn and replaced.
       
    Gonzales also was criticised for writing in January 2002 that parts of the half-century-old Geneva Convention on the treatment of prisoners of war were "obsolete" and "quaint".

    SOURCE: Reuters


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Survivor stories from Super Typhoon Haiyan

    Survivor stories from Super Typhoon Haiyan

    The Philippines’ Typhoon Haiyan was the strongest storm ever to make landfall. Five years on, we revisit this story.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    Thou Shalt Not Kill: Israel's Hilltop Youth

    Thou Shalt Not Kill: Israel's Hilltop Youth

    Meet the hardline group willing to do anything, including going against their government, to claim land for Israel.