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Bush Chooses Homeland Security Chief Successor

January 13, 2005  | 

President Bush has chosen Michael Chertoff, who was involved in developing the administration’s legal strategy against the war on terror, to replace Tom Ridge as Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security.

Currently a federal appellate judge with the 3rd U.S. Court of Appeals in Philadelphia, Chertoff also worked as a federal prosecutor and then headed the Justice Department’s criminal division from 2001 to 2003. He also worked as special counsel to the state senate judiciary committee that investigated racial profiling in New Jersey.

“Mike has shown a deep commitment to the cause of justice and an unwavering determination to protect the American people,” Bush said of Chertoff. “Mike has also been a key leader in the war on terror.”

Chertoff’s confirmation hearing is expected to go smoothly, with no sign of the scandal that marked Bush’s previous nomination for the position.

Bernard Kerik, Bush’s initial choice to fill the top Homeland Security spot, withdrew himself from consideration amid concern that his employing an illegal immigrant would keep Congress from approving his confirmation.

Both parties in both houses of Congress have already voiced their support of the choice. “Judge Mike Chertoff has the resume to be an excellent Homeland Security Secretary, given his law enforcement background and understanding of New York’s and America’s neglected homeland security needs,” said Sen. Charles Schumer, a democrat from New York.

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