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Senate confirms Gonzales as Attorney General

The Senate voted 60 to 36 on Thursday to confirm former White House counsel Alberto R. Gonzales as U.S. Attorney General.

The vote was one of the closest in history for an attorney general nominee. Gonzales received the support of just 6 Democrats, fewer than the 8 Democrats who voted for John Ashcroft back in 2001.

Democrats criticized Gonzales for his role in shaping the Bush administration's legal policies in the war on terror. They said he helped provide the rational to torture terrorist detainees.

As head of the Department of Justice, Gonzales will oversee several key offices and divisions dealing with Indian affairs. One of the most significant is the Office of Solicitor General, which decides the cases to take to the U.S. Supreme Court and oversees legal strategy for cases in courts throughout the nation.

DOJ's civil division and environmental division handle dozens of Indian lawsuits, most notably the Cobell case and other trust mismanagement lawsuits.

Get the Story:
Divided Senate Confirms Gonzales (The Washington Post 2/4)
Gonzales Is Confirmed in a Closer Vote Than Expected (The New York Times 2/4)

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