Bush nominates Chertoff for new Secretary of Homeland Security

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

U.S. President George W. Bush nominated Federal Judge Michael Chertoff as the next Secretary of Homeland Security, replacing Secretary Tom Ridge who plans to step down Feb. 1.

Judge Chertoff has been approved by the Senate on three previous occasions and is currently a U.S. Appeals Court judge in Philadelphia. He is considered a "safe" candidate, likely to pass Senate scrutiny, a key characteristic after the White House's previous candidate, former New York Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik, withdrew after personal information was made public.

At the time of the September 11 attacks, Judge Chertoff was in the Justice Department and became involved as one of the architects of the Patriot act.

If confirmed Chertoff vowed his primary focus as Secretary to be, "promoting our homeland security and, as important, to preserving our fundamental liberties."